Today, more than ever, rail companies are expected to maintain safety and service quality, operate even more efficiently, achieve more with lower budgets, and meet ever-increasing passenger needs. While most of these challenges aren’t new, the rail industry is changing rapidly, with increasing environmental, competitive, regulatory, and economic pressures, creating new challenges and opportunities.
How do rail companies increase capacity and ensure they keep pace with an increasingly tech-savvy customer base? Here are just a few of the challenges and opportunities facing rail companies today:
The world’s population is booming. Not only are people living longer than ever before thanks to advances in nutrition and healthcare and access to food, but many developing countries are facing massive population increases- particularly in Africa which will add 1.3 billion to the population by 2050.
This massive increase in demand will force rail companies to scale quickly, providing increased capacity for this growing population. Rail companies that do this well will be rewarded with larger market share and increased profit.
Passengers are already coming to expect continual connectivity while on the go, and this includes while commuting via rail. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Rail companies must fight to demonstrate that they’re tech-savvy, providing customers with continual wifi access, intuitive apps, and updates in real-time.
But by leveraging this technology, rail companies can enable digitally connected fleets, with onboard systems reporting their operational states in real-time.
This allows operators to manage trains much more effectively, react more quickly, and make better-informed decisions on the go. And that means higher customer satisfaction, improved performance, and large cost savings.
The entire transport industry will need to focus on sustainable power solutions. The most innovative rail companies will begin preparing now, before regulations get even tougher as the world gets serious about fighting climate change.
Not only will focusing on sustainability improve customer satisfaction as rail companies become greener, but companies investing in improved power solutions will also benefit from lower costs as they avoid fluctuating diesel prices.
The rail industry will also face its own challenges from climate change, as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and weather pattern changes threaten supply chains.
There is also a crucial need to improve air quality in rail stations and communities around the world. This is challenging for companies still relying on the diesel engine. Routes using diesel stand out as pollution hotspots, and choosing an alternate fuel source will bring benefits to passengers, tackle the problem of air quality, and improve running costs in the industry.
As the railway industry becomes increasingly digital, this is a game changer when it comes to cybersecurity. While the industry is likely to enjoy huge benefits from greater interconnectivity between systems, rail companies will need to turn a critical eye towards security.
Not only will new systems need to be designed to withstand attacks by hackers and cybercriminals, but the workforce will need to be trained in security best practice. The industry also needs to ensure that robust procedures are put in place so that when problems inevitably arise, disruptions will be minimised and trains will still run safely.
Is your company ready to face the upcoming challenges and opportunities? If you’re ready to future-proof your power supply, get in touch today to learn how we can help.