Rail Advantage

Rail freight specifically, works best with high volumes of throughput on a continuous basis so that efficient loading and unloading of the most direct route and with the best service reception and servicing at both ends of their journey is the optimum goal. Delays at either end of the journey can interupt operation as with complicated access to terminals, thus potentially restricting revenue and compromising operators.

The choice of rail line is vital to ensure sufficient freight train ‘paths’ and gauge clearance. Good access to the terminals is essential, ideally with an electric traction service, now or in the future in order to ‘future-proof’ the service, even though the vast majority of freight traction is currently diesel. 
The need and use of 775-metre-long trains increases train load efficiency and creates economies of scale

More rail freight regional hubs are required, to interface most major container ports, not least because more efficient multimodal container rail freight trains in the UK are now 775 metres in length. These cannot access most existing terminals. In addition and ideally, the terminal locations should combine logistics buildings to allow the containers to be emptied (under customs control), repacked as appropriate, and returned to the container ports.

Rail Freight is a private-sector industry even though it uses public-sector national network rail lines.

Properly located and constructed, intermodal (container) rail freight terminals are likely to have the same effect on the main stream logistics operations as passenger stations have proved to have on residential and business locations, i.e. becoming valuable and sustainable rail freight intermodal ‘hubs’.

Intermodal rail freight differs from conventional bulk rail freight (coal, aggregates, steel etc.) as it entirely consists of containers or container-size frames for bulk liquids and powder cargo.

Investment in Rail Freight Intermodal Terminals

Governments have been investing heavily in the rail networks with improved lines and links, although the freight terminals are more likely to be in the domain of major private or pension fund investors, but only if they are designed for best and most efficient throughput and sustainability for long-term returns.

Container ports operate 24/7 directly interfacing with 775-metre intermodal rail infrastructure where possible.

Rail to Benefit Globally from Aim to Move Traffic away from Roads

LONDON, Nov 29, 2016

PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX

Digitalisation of platforms and intermodal mobility to boost growth in all rail segments,finds Frost & Sullivan GIL Briefing

Analyst Briefing by Frost & Sullivan's Mobility Team WHEN Thursday, 8th December,2016 at 3:00 pm GMT LOCATION: Online, with Complimentary Registration SPEAKERS:Krishna Achuthan, Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst, Shyam Raman,Frost & Sullivan Program Manager and guest speaker Renate Bay, Managing Director ASC GmbH - http://ww2.frost.com/

There has been a steady growth in rail freight and passenger volumes across the globe and new business models are reshaping the rail landscape.

In addition to the continuation of this trend, the influence of information technology in rail is expected to open opportunities for railmarket participants to make advances in telematics, automation and energy efficiency.

The global rail market is expected to provide significant opportunities in terms of growth as investment in new priority rail projects and government initiatives are expected to drive volumes and private investment in rail.

The demand for improved efficiency in the rail industry is expected to drive the market for advanced asset and fleet management tools, new rolling stock, and upgrades to rail infrastructure.

Rail OEMs, operators and service providers will expand capabilities in predictive analytics and remote asset management, and also focus on prognostics, safety enhancements, and wireless security solutions.

Rail companies across the industry are required to adopt new business strategies and launch new services through mergers and acquisitions.

There will be significant investments in software and Big Data platforms, as well as the adoption of rail telematics for intermodal freight and the use of predictive analytics to enhance performance of railway operations.

Future needs will be focused on implementing machine learning to automate processes. "Foreign investment and expertise is utilized to gain access to new generations of rail technologies forming symbiotic relationships between technologically advanced countries and the purchasing countries,"finds Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Krishna Achuthan.

Major enhancements to rail infrastructure are a key focus in Europe.

Projects of EUR 341.05 billion in cost are underway across Europe. Of these over EUR 194.26 billion worth of projects are still estimated to be addressable by market participants.

More than $19 billion will be invested by federal grants over a 4-year period, starting in 2015 in North America. GE Transportation won orders for over 1,000 locomotives in India and over 233 locomotives in South Africa.