Frost & Sullivan: New Concepts in Urban Rail Rolling Stock Change the Transportation Landscape A decade of flurried development in light rail systems is accelerating the entry of new technologies and participants

LONDON, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Steady increase in passenger volumes is powering demand for rolling stock systems in the Western European urban rail market. Intensifying competition has furthered market growth and fuelled adoption of new products and participants in the market, which underwent heavy consolidation between 2000 and 2010. The urban rail market is seeing the successful adoption of concepts such as trams on tyres or the wide scale implementation of automated people mover (APM) systems that were until recently used in airports to connect terminals.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of Growth Opportunities in the Western European Urban Rail Market for Rolling Stock Systems, finds that a total of 10,201 rolling stock - 5,475 light rail vehicles, 3,961 metro vehicles, and 765 APM vehicles (new orders and replacements combined) will be delivered by 2021 across Europe.

Integration of mobility in urban Europe is happening at a rapid pace and urban rail is one of the most important enablers for this trend. As a result, strong orders are expected in the light rail and APM system segments.

"Increasing operational demands and passenger volumes are pushing operators to place orders for new rolling stock," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shyam Raman. "Replacements for aging fleet will also push up the level of new orders. Most of the trams in service today are operating at light rail capacities and Frost & Sullivan analysis has identified 2,156 light rail rolling stock in Germany, Italy and Sweden alone that are nearing or have crossed 35 years of active service."

However, the current economic crisis in the Eurozone is causing funding difficulties for urban rail projects. Under severe pressure to reduce debt levels, governments in the region are being very conservative in releasing funds for public projects. In addition, the lack of regulation in the urban rail market causes project costs to vary widely by country and even by individual lines. This creates further uncertainty for light rail promoters and policy makers in developing strong action plans that convince all stakeholders, including the public.

Nonetheless, regional governments are trying novel ways to bolster the economy. Their aim to create direct and indirect jobs through the development of infrastructure and public transport will result in new projects and regulations that raise demand in the services sector. For instance, the French government levies a 1-2 per cent tax on the payroll of companies with more than nine employees in most cities, which goes toward funding and modernising transport networks. In 2011, 62.3 per cent of the funding for all projects in Paris – an estimated €3.09 billion – was from this tax.

As cities grow old and certain sections of urban areas fall into decline, government agencies encourage land redevelopment to revitalise the economy of the city. Urban rail systems have proven in several cases – like the London Dockland Railways – that new economic city areas can be generated.

"The increasing pace of urbanisation will lead to the integration of the core city centre with the suburbs and daughter cities, resulting in the expansion of city limits," observed Raman. "This will have a massive impact on mobility, fuelling the development of rail networks and driving rolling stock orders."

If you are interested in more information on Frost & Sullivan's study Strategic Analysis of Growth Opportunities in the Western European Urban Rail Market for Rolling Stock Systems, please send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at katja.feick@frost.com, with your full contact details.

Strategic Analysis of Growth Opportunities in the Western European Urban Rail Market for Rolling Stock Systems (M77E-18) is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related research services include: Strategic Insight on Global Rail Market, Strategic Analysis of the Global Market for Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT), Strategic Analysis of the European And North American Rail Infotainment Market, Strategic Analysis of Passenger Safety for Urban Rail in Malaysia. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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