Positive Train Control System works on GPS and is used to prevent train collisions, derailment, and unauthorized train movement. The PTC system notifies the crew members when to slow down or stop the train using GPS, wireless radio, and computers.
Once all the stakeholders fully commit to implementing the PTC system, there are several benefits economic and in terms of safety. As per the Federal Railroad Association of the U.S., the PTC system will bring in line capacity enhancement, improved service reliability, faster running times, efficient use of cars and locomotives, reduction in failures as real-time diagnostics will be available, fuel savings, and time for track maintenance.
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Positive Train Control Market is reaching its maturity stage where many countries have already installed PTC system. While there is still research and development work going on, alternatives such as Communication-based train control and integrated train control have been making headways into the train control and management system market.
With increased emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability, and environmental impact, governments focus on developing metros and high-speed rail networks. Many countries have substantially increased their budget to build up rail networks and enhance the train management system using PTC.
Counties such as India and Vietnam are aggressively developing their metro and high-speed rail network, trying to catch up with the developmental work that developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, China, and Europe have been doing.
Electric multiple units is another segment that is expected to make headway in the PTC market.
A rapid increase in urbanization, a heavy influx of migrants, and the growing demand for public transport are key factors for market growth. As the urban population increases, governments are trying to focus on public transport where metros and high-speed rail have become significant. Urbanization has indeed created a need to connect cities to smaller cities and towns where railways are in a better position. Railway infrastructural development is anticipated to pave the path for the positive train control market to grow.
Interoperability of railways means a smooth, safe, and uninterrupted movement of trains under required performance levels. As countries open their railway sector to more private players, there is a growing need for railway networks' interoperability. The use of the Positive Train Control system in railways can make this possible.
The EU Commission in Nov 2020 announced an investment of USD 54.5 Million under the EU cohesion policy to make public transport in Poland interoperable and high quality. The commission believes that this investment will lead to socio-economic development and better cohesion.
Due to strategic constraints, China is also trying to shift Eurasian trade transport from sea to rail. It is investing heavily in digitalizing the railway network system to decrease transportation time.
As per the Association of American Railroads, the U.S. will implement 100% of railroads to PTC as legislated by Congress. Most of the countries in the world have nationalized and privately owned railroads, due to which there are more chances of mishap. As of the third quarter (Sept 2020), the U.S. railroad industry had reached 99.6% of full implementation of PTC by Dec 2020. Once interoperability is achieved in the U.S., the European Union and Eurasian railway are anticipated to adopt PTC in an accelerated way. This provides a suitable platform for PTC installation to soar.
With Positive Train Control in demand, alternative train control systems such as Communication-based train control (CBTC) and Integrated train control may create bottlenecks for the PTC market. CBTC uses either inductive loop or radio communication to create a continuous, automatic train control system independent of track circuits. CBTC will mostly be a hindrance to PTC in the light rail network. Existing CBTC networks will preferably choose advanced CBTC systems, which can create a restraint on the market.
According to the United Nations, as the global population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, countries have been focusing on modes of transport that have higher passenger and freight throughput. This is where bus rapid transit, commuter rail, metro rail, and light rail come into play. High passenger output is expected to mitigate congestion, reducing time-loss in traffic, and cost savings and energy savings in high-speed rail travel.
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As mentioned earlier, the U.S. is about to implement 100% PTC in its rail network by December 2020. The U.S. case for the implementation of PTC is particularly significant as it creates an example for other railway networks for implementation. The U.S. has a vast rail network with public and private players using the rail network for passenger and freight trains. Wabtec Corporation is installing PTC on the Alaska railroad to develop a system for collision avoidance, enforce speed limits, and protect roadway workers and equipment.
Amtrak is closely working with Alstom and GE transportation systems by installing transponders to enforce permanent speeding restrictions. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, PTC could have prevented 145 train accidents between 1969 and 2015, killing 288 people and injuring 6,574. As the rail network and participation of private players in the rail industry increase, common train control and management systems like the PTC are expected to mitigate the losses caused by such accidents.
Even the Canadian Pacific, which operates on the U.S. network, has been working on building PTC's infrastructure. The Canadian National Railway is investing USD 520 million to upgrade and maintain the infrastructure that includes PTC as well. U.S. states such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan, and many more will be receiving funds of USD 165 million, USD 100 million, USD 60 million, and USD 55 million, respectively.
Europe has its own European Train Control System, which uses the Positive Train Control (PTC) system. It has replaced all the incompatible control systems. PTC system is getting advance in Europe as they plan to implement automatic train control in the coming years. The previous legacy systems are expected to be functional as backup options. France and Germany still operate on the legacy systems as their systems' performance stands even with PTC. However, as PTC technology increases, the need to upgrade infrastructure will arise, and the demand for PTC systems in France and Germany will increase.
Most of the networks in India have implemented ETCS level 2. Tech Companies in India are currently providing training to the U.S. employees for the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association members. This is expected to benefit in the coming years as the technology ecosystem for PTC implementation will be available. Indian research organizations and vendors have developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) and Train Collision Avoidance systems (TCAS), similar to the European Train Control System, and use PTC. High-speed rail such as Vande Bharat Express that travels around 160mph will not be possible with this in place.
Bombardier Inc., Siemens AG, Toshiba Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Wabtec Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., Knorr-Bremse AG, ALSTOM SA, CAF GROUP, ASELSAN A., China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation Limited (CRSC), ABB Group, Thales Group, Quester Tangent among others.