Intelligent Railways Transportation Management Systems Market Trends 2023


The year 2022 saw the rail industry gradually get back on track post-COVID-19 impact. For instance, according to the Department for Transport (DfT), ridership reached as high as 95% of pre-COVID-19 levels in the United Kingdom. However, 2023 is gearing up for staff shortages & strikes, evolving passenger demands, and the growing effects of climate change. The global rail industry is thus rapidly enhancing its digital capabilities through partnerships with startups and specialized tech providers. This further influences the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market growth, slated to grow at a CAGR of 11.90% during 2023-2032, and generate a revenue of $109.25 billion by 2032.

Accordingly, this blog focuses on the global rail technology trends imminent and beyond 2023.

IRTMS Market: Key Trends 2023

  • Sustainability served on High-Speed Wheels

A recent study has revealed that investing in comprehensive high-speed rail networks will be the key to substantially minimizing the environmental footprint of passenger transport in Europe.

High-speed rail (HSR) is evaluated to offer tangible advantages over other transport modes for medium to long-distance journeys. It facilitates a shift from traditional air and road transport for lengthy journeys, reducing congestion and associated pollution. It operates on the electrified network and thus benefits from the ‘greening’ of the energy supply sector. Its main power supply is electricity from renewable sources without having to develop new and specific technologies. This is a competitive advantage for high-speed rail (HSR) since road transport and aviation are highly dependent on fossil fuels. For instance, as per The Geography of Transport Systems, road transportation alone consumes 85% of the total energy used by the transport sector in developed economies.

Furthermore, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission performance relies on the energy supply that serves the network. Besides, high-speed rail (HSR) lines run on 100% electric power. They can shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy without requiring separate infrastructure or propulsion unit investments.

Accordingly, the aforementioned study has analyzed the impact and potential of investments in the European high-speed rail network connecting Europe’s main cities and capitals.

Carlo M Borghini, Executive Director at Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-RAIL), says, “…A high-speed rail network is not wishful-thinking but, together with all the ongoing investments, including in EU-Rail R&I, the answer of rail to reaching COP’s targets for passenger mobility as translated in the EC’s Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy….” (Source)

EC’s Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy sets the foundation for the EU transport system to achieve its green and digital transformation, thereby building resilience against future crises. It aims for a 90% reduction in emissions by 2050.

  • Enhanced Passenger Experience

Passenger numbers are slowly returning to around the same figures as pre-pandemic levels. In accordance, rail companies are deploying video surveillance, automated ticketing, train delivery services, and certain hotel experiences for an enhanced travel experience for passengers. For instance, infotainment systems engage passengers while onboarding systems improve seat assignments, identification control, and last-minute booking. Moreover, biometric ticketing solutions are employed to simplify passenger identification and the ticketing process.

As a result, a significant modal shift will need substantial improvements to customer service.

As per Ian Griffin, co-founder of Seatfrog, “In 2023, there will be an accelerated pace on putting passengers back at the heart of rail. We need radical thinking to improve the customer experience and distill the right problems to solve.” (Source)

The modal shift will require operators to tackle recurring challenges like rising ticketing costs, ongoing strikes, onboard space & comfort issues, and service disruptions and delays. Startups like RailRestro (Indian) and GoWith (Israeli) are contributing to the transition.

As per Inkwood Research’s estimates, passenger information management is the largest revenue-generating application, set to garner a revenue of $31.55 billion by 2032.

  • Autonomous Mobility

Automatic Train Operation or Autonomous Mobility is a safety and operational enhancement in rail. Integrated with systems like automatic train supervision, automatic train protection, and automatic train control, operators can do more with less, rendering them a finely-tuned network that delivers better performance with lesser risks and waste.

Further, real-time data transmission and advanced sensor technology in autonomous trains are evaluated to improve capacity optimization, reliability, and punctuality. Also, upgrades to automatic train control (ATC) systems and signaling technology will help better traffic information flows and minimize technical errors in rail transit, thereby reinforcing passenger confidence.

For instance, a grade-of-automation 4 (GoA4) system autonomously handles obstacle detection and emergency situations and controls the doors, brakes, and speed. It is the highest level of automation. Paris lines 1 & 14 and the Sydney metro operate fully unattended.

OTIV, a Belgian startup, develops full self-driving (FSD) solutions for shunting and light rail operations. It uses sensors, computer vision, deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to manufacture the zero-emission OTIV Light Rail Vehicle System. Similarly, GEAR International Holdings, a South African startup, offers integrated railway solutions.

As per our estimates, sensors are the fastest-growing hardware in the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market, with a CAGR of 12.61% by 2032.

IRTMS Future: Railways to run on a Digitalizated Track

Digitization is the key to increased connectivity, automation, availability, and sustainability in rail infrastructure. Therefore, rail stakeholders are developing advanced robots, security systems, surveillance, drones, biometrics, sensors, and machine learning /artificial intelligence platforms. The prominent service and solution providers include Mitsubishi, ABB, Bombardier, Huawei, Alstom, and Siemens. The digitalization trend thus facilitates lucrative growth opportunities for the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market.

By Akhil Nair


Which country has high growth potential in the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market?

China has high growth potential in the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market.

Which is the fastest-growing application in the global intelligent railways transportation management systems market?

North America is the dominating region in the global tactical data link market.