UNIFE presents result of Worldwide Rail Market Study


  • Worldwide rail market already represents an annual business volume of over 100 billion euros
  • A 2%* steady annual growth of the market is predicted over the next ten years

The worldwide rail market represents today a business volume of about 103.3 billion euros, of which 71.8 billion euros are accessible to the industry and there is an expected overall annual growth rate of 2%* over the next ten years.

Over the past few decades, rail suppliers have reacted well to a changing market environment – which has seen deregulation, concentration and globalisation – whilst becoming more responsive to new business opportunities. The rail industry today is recognised as a crucial partner of governments, contributing to the support of sustained development of their economies.

A snapshot of the rail supply industry today shows a robust, attractive market that will experience steady growth over the next ten years. Today’s rail suppliers are very responsive to business opportunities around the globe and are adept at developing and designing innovative solutions to meet the evolving requirements.

This is the result of the Worldwide Rail Market Study commissioned by UNIFE, the Association of the European Railway Industries, carried out by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. The study examined an existing installed base in 41 countries, in detail, comprising 4.1 million units of rolling stock and 1.5 million km of track – twice to the moon and back – which represents around 95% of the total installed base.

Europe remains the most important market, representing 42% of the accessible market volume and is expected to stay in this position for the decade to come.

However, the rail supply market is growing faster in the East. Over the next decade, both the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Asia/Pacific regions are expected to experience high yearly growth rates of around 3%*.

When analysing the various segments of the rail market the study identifies that rolling stock in general will grow within the identified average rate of 2%* while Services is a market segment that will see healthy growth of between 2%* to 3%* annually worldwide. Additional key areas of above-average growth are freight locomotives and light rail.

Maintaining and replacing existing systems at the end of their useful lifespan is, and will remain, a key factor driving the rail supply market. Services, relating to both the rolling stock and infrastructure, account for almost half of the total market. Furthermore, around 70% of annual deliveries of rolling stock (for infrastructure as high as 80%) are for replacement and the other third is driven by fleet or network expansion.

André Navarri, Chairman of UNIFE, during the presentation of the market study stated, “Rail Industry members can be very proud as our companies have responded well to the adverse market conditions experienced in the past few decades, but this is not enough and the real challenge starts now as we have to become stronger and more robust to be able to support the sustained development of growing economies around the world.”

Mr. Navarri explained, “Mobility issues, heavy urbanisation, road congestion and environmental concerns, among others, are today top priorities for most governments and rail transportation is generally recognised as the preferred solution to tackle those issues. It is in the hands of the rail industry to find technological solutions to answer these key issues and only strong industrial companies can continue to invest in developing and designing innovative solutions to meet the evolving requirements. Politics has to pave the way for an accelerated growth for the European Railways.” He stated that the industry is supporting the initiative taken by the German EU-Presidency to promote the cross acceptance of railway equipment and to undertake further steps towards the liberalisation of railway markets.

Mr. Navarri concluded that “for example, if we take the accessible markets for the big three, Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, we come up with a value between 36 and 41 billion euros. That shows that the growth rate of 2%* can be higher if the UNIFE members are increasingly able to tap into the remaining part of the accessible market.”

Rail industry
Rail suppliers are companies that manufacture and service all the systems, subsystems and components used in urban, conventional and high-speed systems, including rail infrastructure, rolling stock, and signalling and telecommunication systems.

A unique source of information on the rail market
In this unique study – which was developed with an intense participation of the major rail industry players – information is provided about the structure and segmentation of the rail supply industry, geographic distribution among segments, the current size of the total and accessible market segments by region, and a growth forecast for the next decade. This study aims to provide new insights for railways, suppliers and sub-suppliers to enable the industry to seize the potential within this growing market. The comprehensive and concise nature of the analysis also makes it a valuable source for managers, political decision-makers, investors and financial analysts.

Auteur: Redactie Infrasite