This article first appeared in the Railway-News Magazine Issue 4 2023.
Emphasis on sustainability and climate goals is expected to increase the demand for rail transport in the future.
Rail transportation is an environmentally friendly mode of transport that helps reduce emissions from transportation. This prompts businesses to shift more of their freight transport to rail. According to a report by the European Commission, the need for freight wagons in Europe is projected to grow by 50% by 2030 and double by 2050. Given the rapid and massive nature of this demand, there is a need for increased manufacturing capacity for new wagons and campaigns to modify and modernise existing wagons.
Political tensions and economic consequences resulting from the conflict in Ukraine also have implications for wagon manufacturing and maintenance. The deteriorating or sanction-imposed relations between countries affect the availability of Russian-made wagons in the market and make it challenging to obtain components and spare parts for old wagons. This creates demand and new opportunities for wagon and component manufacturers as Eastern Europe also transitions to using wagons compliant with European standards in the coming years.
“The green transition in industry is also driving a transformation in freight transport and the demand for freight wagons.
“For example, the metallurgical and steel industry aims to shift to fossil-free steel production, which will create additional demands for rail transport and innovative freight wagon solutions. We want to be a part of this solution.”
The requirements for freight wagons are constantly evolving in response to environmental, technological, and economic changes.
The most significant trend is the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly transportation. Freight wagons are also expected to have lower emissions, reduced environmental impact, versatility and flexibility for transporting various goods. Environmental considerations must be factored into wagon design, calculating the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process and materials for the benefit of the customer.
Safety considerations have always been crucial in rail transport. In the future, even better safety standards and technologies for wagons are expected to ensure the safe delivery of goods over long distances and across borders. At the same time, speed and reliable transportation are important for global trade flows.
The use of digital technologies, such as IoT sensors, telematics and smart systems, is also expected to increase in freight wagons. This allows for realtime monitoring, predictive maintenance, transport optimisation and load management.
Railway-News magazine Issue 2, April 2023: VR FleetCare - VR FleetCare Expands Its Service Offering.
Railway-News magazine Issue 2, June 2022: VR FleetCare – The Power of Digitalisation in Track Equipment Maintenance.
Railway-News magazine Issue 5, November 2021: VR Fleetcare - Data and Maintenance of Rolling Stock – How to Get the Most Out of the Combination
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