Abhinav Kumar
Abhinav Kumar

Sector Expert


The world’s railway network spans over 1.3 million route-kilometres worldwide
The global Rail market is valued at 660 million US$ in 2018 is expected to reach 890 million US$ by the end of 2025.
In 2014, there were around 1 million kilometres of railway in the world (a decrease of 3% compared to 2013). Of this, 350,000 km were in Europe and mainly used for passenger service, 370,000 km were in North America and mainly used for freight, and 230,000 km were in Asia and used for both freight and passenger service. Asia-Pacific Leads the Global Project Logistics Market Asia-pacific region leads the current market studied and is also expected to grow significantly above Europe and North America. China is the largest market followed by India. India’s rail network is the world’s third largest. High speed rail services started in Europe in 1991, with two corridors between Paris and Lyon and Paris and Dijon. The world record for a conventional wheeled passenger train is held by France’s TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), set in 2007 when it reached 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on a 140 km section of track. Japan’s experimental maglev train L0 Series achieved 603 km/h (375 mph) on a 42.8 km magnetic levitation track in 2015.
Rail Market Overview

High Speed lines in the World (KM)
Bn Passenger-Km Travelled
Bn Freight Tonne-Km Travelledt

Over 500 heavy rail projects account for 57’000km of track under construction (or expansion/renewal) 65’000km of track planned and $ 1.2 trillion of announced investments. The overwhelming share (85%) of both current and future developments falls on low and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia (almost 50%). the global railway network would have to reach about 1.25 million track kilometres by 2030, plus about 65’000km for high-speed rail. Cost per km of track under construction varies considerably by region, rail type and project status. Interestingly, heavy rail (excl. high-speed) and light rail projects in planning stage on average budget a lower cost per km than those already under construction (globally -50% and -21%, respectively). But the reverse is true for high-speed (+120%) and metro projects (+42%). This tendency can be observed across all regions, although the exact figures vary strongly. $784bn worth of projects worldwide planned or under construction, metro systems, although more expensive, attract the highest investments of any urban rail mode

  • Emerging countries like China and India will drive the market of Monorail systems in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Asia has seen a large growth in high-speed rail with 257bn pkm representing 72% of total world high-speed rail passenger traffic
  • The market was valued at 3,261 Mn USD in 2017 and is projected to reach 5,287 Mn USD by 2025
  • China is the largest market followed by India.
  • 1600 Million Passengers per year carried by High Speed Trains around the World

Consolidation continues to be the dominant tactic in the industry and 2018 saw some major developments. Japanese multinational Hitachi that already owned a 50.77 per cent interest in Italian rail transportation service provider Ansaldo STS purchased an additional 31.79 per cent of its share capital taking the aggregate stake up to 82.56 per cent in November 2018. Wabtec Corporation signed an agreement to combine its operations with GE Transportation. Finland-based Transtech manufacturing double-deck carriages, low-floor trams, vehicle transport carriages and electrical units, sold its 25 per cent stake to Skoda Transportation Group. The increasing rate and scale of such deals indicate that the rail industry is set for more consolidation. In the fragmented industry, companies have realised that their general business interests and innovation in the industry can be more successfully promoted if they are more vertically or horizontally integrated in their supply chains

  • Globally, almost 1500 rail infrastructure projects worth at least $ 2.1 trillion are planned or un-der construction amounting to a total of 140’000km
  • Currently announced high-speed investment until ca. 2030 stands at $ 600bn
  • The overwhelming share (85%) of both current and future developments falls on low and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia (almost 50%).
  • China dominates current track under construction with 37% of all heavy rail, 61% of high-speed, 66% of metro and 21% of light rail track being built there.
  • The global railway network would have to reach about 1. 5 million track kilometres by 2050 plus about 130’000km for high-speed rail

As we look further into 2019 for the rail industry, the impetus towards supply chain consolidation, adoption of digital technologies, and enhanced passenger experience is evident. For sustainable growth, the improvements in the performance of rail-based transportation will also be accompanied by efforts towards decarbonisation and environmental protection – thanks to smart propulsion techniques and lighter car-body frames being developed by the industry. The rail industry is often one of the critical backbones of the economic framework of countries, therefore leading to increasing interference from regulatory bodies and competition commissions in fructification of M&A deals. Digitalisation has emerged as the key driver for innovation in the railwaysIncreased M&As to further industry consolidation

  • Increased focus on digitalisation
  • Cyber-security will gain centre stage
  • Shift in spend patterns: Increasing investment in the APAC region
  • The UK-EU Brexit impact
  • Trains to run on alternative energy sources
  • High-speed rail gives way to hyper-speed
  • Automation: the new face of rail technology

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