Trends and innovations
    Rail transportation is undergoing significant changes in response to the growing demand for fast transportation between and inside cities and countries. The major rail industry trends involve drones and smart sensors for inspecting railway tracks, digital communication platforms, and automatic train control (ATC). Notoriously slow to implement modern technologies, rail tech are working to scale various solutions that look to combine biometric information, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing. For train operators and railroad companies, the Internet of Things (IoT) devices enable the implementation of predictive maintenance to monitor for any anomalies. In addition to condition-based monitoring, newer rail industry trends such as rolling stock hybridisation and high-speed rail also contribute to the growing pool of future-looking railway technologies

Impact Of Railway Industry Trends
    Working on developing new autonomous train systems that will increase the efficiency and reliability of railway transportation. These systems rely heavily on the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and connectivity technologies. Additionally, the zero-emissions initiatives drive the rail industry towards the implementation of decarbonisation strategies.

Autonomous Trains
    Enabled by advanced sensor technology and real-time data transmission, the autonomous train is an effective solution for improving punctuality, reliability, and capacity optimisation in the railway industry. Upgrades to signaling technology and automatic train control (ATC) systems reduce technical errors, improve traffic information flows, and reinforce passenger confidence in rail transit.
    For example, a grade-of-automation 4 (GoA4) system autonomously handles emergency situations and obstacle detection, as well as controls the train’s speed, brakes, and doors.
    Advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) and full self-driving (FSD) solutions for light rail and shunting operations. Uses artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, computer vision, and sensors to develop the zero-emission OTIV Light Rail Vehicle System, adapting locomotives to urban environments. Equipped with object detection and collision avoidance technologies, ADAS and FSD systems further increase the safety and efficacy of rail transport.

Internet of Trains
    IoT greatly impacts the reliability and safety of railway infrastructure. Condition-based monitoring prevents delays resulting from track and train part failures, which optimizes maintenance efficiency and costs, as well as improves passenger satisfaction. Additionally, IoT-enabled advanced analytics allows railway operators to find data-driven solutions to improve fleet control and rail operations efficiency.
    TRAINFO offers a cost-effective solution that helps reduce traffic delays at railroad crossings. Uses train sensors, Bluetooth, and prediction software to determine when to open and close rail crossings. This information is then conveyed to drivers through information systems, such as roadside signage, mobile apps, or traffic signaling. The solution also aids city planning officials when designing and operating railway crossings and other infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence
    AI finds numerous applications within the railway industry, encompassing asset management, predictive maintenance, and emergency notification. Deep learning algorithms and neural networks help optimize train scheduling and minimise delays. Moreover, advanced passenger information systems improve transportation services and increase passenger satisfaction.
    AI models that improve the reliability of public transportation. Tool delivers delay forecasting, as well as real-time traffic simulations and reporting. The tool processes train schedules and signaling or global positioning system (GPS) data to conduct rail network forecasting. The Train Brain enables rail operators to make data-driven traffic planning decisions and passengers to be more informed when planning their commute or travel.

    Although railways are the most sustainable form of transportation, following ambitious net-zero emissions plans, governments are looking to further decarbonise the rail industry. The most common decarbonisation solutions include replacing diesel trains with battery technology, hydrogen fuel cells, or electric trains. To further minimise the CO2 emissions, rail operators deploy electric locomotives that use energy from renewable sources, such as solar or wind.
    Core Environmental Systems offers energy storage solutions to communities and end-users across industries, including railways. The Enviro Cell – Rail, designed specifically for the demands of the rail industry, solves the crank power shortages of traditional batteries. In the process, they reduce, and sometimes eliminates, monetary losses for rail operators and simultaneously increases the efficiency of rail transportation.

Rail Connectivity
    Modern railway mobile communications systems, enhanced with 5G technologies, allow for low-latency communications and high performance, as well as the reliability of railway infrastructure. Further, communications-based train control (CBTC) enables efficient rail traffic management and asset monitoring. Train connectivity applications span train positioning, control, maintenance, passenger experiences, and passenger data collection.
    Passengera develops a platform that provides Wi-FI connection and infotainment for railway passengers. The connectivity solution gives passengers access to onboard entertainment, news, as well as travel and accommodation information via smart devices or laptops. Additionally, the connected solutions support the train’s passenger information and ticketing systems, route information, and CCTV cameras.

Passenger Experience
    To improve passenger experience, rail companies employ automatic ticketing and video surveillance, set up train delivery services, and create train hotel experiences. Video surveillance detects theft and helps optimise passenger load. Further, smartphone and mobile apps automate ticketing and price comparisons for passengers and rail companies. Onboarding systems further improve last-minute booking, identification control, as well as seat assignments, and infotainment systems engage passengers during travel. To further simplify the ticketing process, as well as passenger identification, companies employ biometric ticketing solutions.
    RailRestro offers food delivery services to train passengers. The online service allows contactless delivery to the passenger’s train seat from a range of accredited restaurants. The gives passengers an opportunity to transform a train ride into a culinary experience.

High-Speed Rail
    The development of high-speed rail systems is aimed at making the transportation of people and goods more efficient and frequent. HSR encompasses high-speed train and line design and construction. In particular, companies focus on both the adaptation of the existing infrastructure and the development of new high-speed systems such as hyperloop, which are capable of exceeding the speed of 1000 km per hour.
    A magnetic rail system capable of reaching up to 550 km per hour. The train uses passive magnetic levitation and linear motor technology to further improve the transportation of people and goods. The technology allows the new-concept trains to operate on existing tracks alongside the conventional trains. Additionally, NEVOMO develops plans for enabling hyper-rail and hyperloop technologies.

Rail Automation
    The automation of the railway industry goes beyond autonomous train operations (ATO). Develop robotic systems for infrastructure cleaning and maintenance and drone technology for remote inspection. Additionally, traction control automation prevents delays and improves the safety of rail infrastructure. Automation of the rail industry helps railway companies optimise asset efficiency, monitoring, and maintenance, delivering improved experience and rail reliability for passengers.
    Developing laser technology solutions for track maintenance. LaserTrain, addresses the low railhead adhesion issue that causes train delays due to autumn leaf deposits on the track. TriboMeter is another solution to measure real-time friction between the track and the train enabling the optimisation of acceleration and energy consumption. By improving traction, the solutions reduce train delays and cancellations, as well as improve overall rail safety.

Big Data & Analytics
    The use of big data in the railway sector paves the way for train communication, predictive analytics, asset management, passenger information systems, and data management platforms. By deploying smart railway sensors, millions of data points are gathered and analysed to further improve the safety, security, and reliability of rail infrastructure. The ability to predict failures further allows rail operators to plan repairs, increasing the availability of rail. Developing IoT sensors to collect data for almost every facet of rail infrastructure, including railcars, tracks, and signaling units.
    Raildiary provides a data tracking platform for railway construction companies. The develops the Sitediary app, a platform for railway project management and analysis. The solution finds applications in rail, including maintenance, signaling, and electrification, as well as fatigue and emergency management. The solutions optimise the efficacy of rail construction projects to minimise delays, resource waste, and unnecessary costs.

Augmented & Virtual Reality
    The applications of mixed reality in the rail industry span personnel training, design visualisation, and customer engagement. Interactive train windows provide infotainment and route information while augmented reality (AR) mobile apps allow passengers to take part in rail infrastructure design. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) headsets make training more immersive and informative. AR and VR solutions allow railway companies to reduce personnel training costs and improve passenger satisfaction and loyalty, increasing their sales.
    VRTECH offers VR design, demonstration, and training systems for personnel development and marketing. The develops a number of rail simulations to improve the skills of train inspectors and engineers. They also provide a railway station design simulation showcasing future services and allowing passengers to experience various features of the station infrastructure.