High speed rail (HSR) projects in Europe are opening up a big market for certain segments, such as track materials, where new materials and technologies are set to enjoy considerable growth opportunity.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), European Materials Market for High Speed Rail Infrastructure, finds that the total market earned revenues of €3.5 million in 2011. The market is estimated to reach €10 million in 2018, of which track materials will account for €8.5 million and cable materials for the remainder.
"In comparison to other modes of transport, rail transport infrastructure is high on the European Commission’s agenda, mainly due to its lower carbon footprint," noted Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Deepak Karthikeyan. "As the European Commission boosts investments in electricity powered, high speed trains, materials for HSR infrastructure will experience high demand."
The number of passengers opting for HSR has increased considerably in the last decade. For instance, since the introduction of high speed lines in Germany, France, Spain, and Belgium in the 1990s, the number of passengers using this mode of transport has increased six-fold. This preference will persist, highlighting the need for more lines connecting larger areas in the future.
As the market gathers momentum, a key challenge will be interoperability between EU member countries, each of whom has separate standards for high speed lines. Different technologies at the material as well as operating level will mean greater expenditure to ensure compatibility.
Promisingly, the EU has started moving towards a pan-European HSR agenda. It has already started taking steps to ensure a common platform for track technology as well as standards for all member states.
"Reinforcing such positive steps will require material manufacturers, moulders and system integrators to work in conjunction with the EU to develop technologies and roadmaps that support compatibility at every level," advised Karthikeyan. "Over and above that, since each project will need customised solutions, chemical suppliers will have to jointly develop products along with moulders or system integrators to increase their presence in the end market."
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella[.]frost.com.
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European Materials Market for High Speed Rail Infrastructure / M7A0-39