Rail supply market to hit €211 billion by 2027

03 October 2022 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

The global rail supply market is expected to expand by almost 20% in the coming five years, according to a new study. The news would see market volume accelerate past the €200 billion mark, as it recovers from the Covid-19 era.

The rail supply industry is a crucial component of industrial growth, jobs and innovation. The sector includes the manufacture of locomotives and rolling stock, tracks, electrification, signalling and telecommunication equipment, parts and services. As the world looks to renovate its transport infrastructure, and strengthen trade routes across the continent, the industry is encountering heightened demand.

The latest edition of World Rail Market Study, by the European Rail Supply Industry Association (UNIFE) and strategy consultancy Roland Berger shows that this will see the market rapidly recover from a pandemic slowdown. The study covers the market development of 65 countries, and found that due to the pandemic, the rail supply market between 2019-21 moderately decreased by 0.2%, when compared to 2017-2019.

The current annual total rail supply market volume in the years 2019-2021

This left its volume at €176.5 billion per-annum – even as considerable investments in infrastructure and rail control were undertaken across the Asia-Pacific region – and particularly in China – as well as Western Europe, contributing to the distance of tracks worldwide growing by 39,000 kilometres to around 1.7 billion kilometres. However, the researchers now anticipate a swift rebound for the sector through until 2027.

In the coming five years, the overall global rail supply market is expected to expand by 19.5%, to hit a volume of €211 billion. According to UNIFE and Roland Berger, the driving force of this may be the rollout of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), the Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) and Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC).

The study also highlighted potential benefits from predictive maintenance, 5G applications, improved passenger information and ticketing solutions. And the European Green Deal is also likely to be an important driver of continued growth, as rail networks transition to net zero operations.

That is not to say the rail supply market does not face headwinds, though. One key area for improvement too is finding a way to reduce obstacles to market entry, according to UNIFE. Looking at the global picture, the organisation suggested that only 61% of the global rail market was open to International rail suppliers – something the association claims hinders the application of innovative new technologies, and efforts to decarbonise transport.