Global demand for rail is growing

Rail networks are expected to double in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East by 2022.

The global rail market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

According to a new report from Frost & Sullivan, the rail networks in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are expected to double in size by 2022. And while high-speed rail projects have been canceled in places like Poland and Portugal, governments are looking to infrastructure -- especially transit infrastructure -- to spur economic growth.

"Efficiency requirements will spur the global adoption of advanced asset and fleet management tools such as remote diagnostics, passenger information and asset planning," said Shyam Raman Frost & Sullivan's automotive and transportation research analyst, in a statement. "With train operators using Internet protocol architecture for onboard Internet access as well as operation and safety services, opportunities will open up for next-generation multimedia applications. The U.K. and U.S. already have the highest number of rolling stock with Wi-Fi services in their respective regions."

Other key market projections:

  • Africa will experience the highest growth in the rail supply market.
  • North America will be the fastest growing market for light and commuter rail and metro rail will be the largest replacement market.
  • By 2020, China will have nearly 75,000 miles of rail.
  • Between 2015 and 2022, Europe is expected to replace 10,298 locomotives and 1,860 railcars.

Photo: Flickr/Leonardo, easthastings

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