20 Sep 2016


The world rail supply market volume hit a record level of nearly 160 billion euros in 2015 – and the growth is set to continue in spite of certain regional differences. In the years to come the market volume will grow 2.6 percent per year on average worldwide and reach about 185 billion euros in 2021. These are among the findings of the sixth UNIFE World Rail Market Study, conducted by Roland Berger and commissioned by the European Rail Industry Association (UNIFE). The study’s authors predict that urban transport will demonstrate the highest growth rates, whereas in absolute figures the demand will remain strongest in regional and long-distance travel.

"This study confirms that the attractiveness of rail transport as a reliable and efficient means of travel is steadily rising," said Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, unveiling the study at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin. "Megatrends like population growth and the global increase in urbanisation will ensure that the demand for rail investments will continue to grow, especially in urban areas. Nevertheless, UNIFE is concerned by the decline in market accessibility across the globe and especially in certain Asian markets which are slowly closing to outside suppliers.”

For the next five years, the experts forecast continued stable growth for the world rail market: in the period through 2021 they anticipate a rise of 2.6 percent per year, taking the market volume up to about 185 billion euros. Asia Pacific will continue to account for the biggest portion of the growth (32%), followed by Western Europe (26%). Western Europe leads in the growth stakes with 3.1 percent, just edging ahead of Africa/Middle East with 3 percent. Asia Pacific's growth averages 2.6 percent, with Russia/CIS bringing up the rear with 0.9 percent.

The 2016 edition of the UNIFE World Rail Market Study is the sixth edition of the study which has been published biennially since 2006. The study provides a comprehensive overview and key insights on all relevant developments in the rail supply market. This edition takes an especially deep dive into the rail market in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as providing a detailed analysis of the market impacts of the EU’s Fourth Railway Package legislation and the ongoing efforts to digitalise the rail system

To read a more detailed version of this press release please click here.

Order the study directly online via our publishing partner DVV | Eurailpress | Railway Gazette.

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Nguyen
Public Affairs Manager
+32 2 431 04 60

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