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Railway industry in Germany is growing stronger than the global trend

High levels of pressure to innovate and greater financial planning security enable this growth in the following years. Together, transport performance and the industrial and service markets generate sales of over 35 billion euros. However, this high market volume does not take the pressure off the railway industry to place cost-effective and innovative solutions on the market. Customers and authorities increasingly expect modern products and raise their demands on environmentally friendly, energy-saving and low-noise products. The continuous digitisation of the entire railway sector is becoming increasingly important. These are the key findings of the new market study "The German Railway Market – Facts, Figures, Players and Trends" by SCI Verkehr GmbH.

Germany traditionally has one of the most liberalised railway markets in Europe. Transport revenues are about 22.7 billion euros in turnover, while the current market volume for products and services reaches almost 12.5 billion euros and will rise by an average of 3.4% per year over the next five years.

With increasing digitisation, the railway sector is changing drastically. Established processes are put to the test: Digital products and services are gaining in importance, especially in the classic railway product markets – infrastructure, system technology and rolling stock. Already today the total market volume for digital products and services amounts to about 1.23 billion euros – with a rising trend.

"The industry is increasingly faced with the challenge of combining the multitude of currently available approaches as well as high investments in digital technologies into an overarching digital strategy in order to realise the benefits of digitisation in the different parts of the value chain." asserts Maria Leenen, CEO of SCI Verkehr GmbH. "At the same time, digitisation is also making the railway industry attractive for suppliers who have not yet been part of the industry."

Agreements and progress in the establishment of important market fundamentals, such as the provision of public funding in regional passenger transport as well as the approach of establishing a level playing field in intermodal competition in rail freight transport, form the basis for the high investments. Structural uncertainties in the financing of the regional passenger transport, including its infrastructure, have been solved in recent years, not only with the revision of the “Regionalisierungsmittelgesetz”, but also with the establishment of the Railway Regulation Act (ERegG) as well as the continuation of the Municipal Transport Financing Act / Unbundling Act. In the rail freight transport sector, the "Masterplan for rail freight transport" recently presented a catalog of measures designed to permanently strengthen rail freight transport and make it more attractive to compete with other modes of transport. This includes, among other things, the "clear" reduction and lowering of train path charges, for which already 350 million euros are to be provided under the budget of the Ministry of Transport in 2018.

"This does not reduce the pressure of the railway industry to develop cost-effective and innovative solutions," says Maria Leenen. Particularly in the intermodal competition, rising demands from customers and society for reliability, comfort and environmental protection form a constant challenge.

The market study "The German Railway Market - Facts, Figures, Players and Trends" is now available in German and English language.