The global rolling stock power conversion system market was valued at USD 4,856.8 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 6,865.03 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 3.92% during the forecast period (2022–2030). A diesel-powered engine provides power to the rolling stock power conversion system, which converts alternating current to direct current and propels the rolling stock. The power conversion unit consists of various pieces of equipment that are responsible for extracting power from the diesel or electric-powered engine, which is needed to power various components of rolling stock and drive the train. The power conversion system has a power conversion unit, which converts the locomotive's alternating current to direct current to increase the efficiency of the system's DC motors.
Wagons, locomotives, frights, and rapid transit vehicles are examples of the rolling stock essential in providing comfortable, dependable, and cost-effective transportation for passengers and goods over long distances. Rolling stock demand increased during the forecast period due to the growing use of public transport, such as local trains, passenger trains, and metros. Various players have made numerous advancements in the power conversion system for rolling stock, facilitating the market growth.
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Increased Budget Allocation for the Development of Railways
Developing nations such as India, China, and others are allocating more funds to develop their railway infrastructure and create a more efficient system. The government's increased budget allocation and launch of various initiatives for developing railway infrastructure are also effective parameters for overall market growth. Environmental concerns, such as rising carbon emissions and high oil prices, have prompted the government and major players, such as Alstom and CRRC Corporation Limited, to shift their focus to electricity-powered rolling stock. The introduction of hydrogen fuel and battery-powered rolling stock, as well as the implementation of data analytics and digitalization in railways, propels the rolling stock power conversion system market forward.
Increased Trend toward using Railways as a Public Transport
With the increased sales of private vehicles such as bikes and passenger cars, traffic congestion has increased significantly, resulting in road blockage. Direct costs associated with such congestion can amount to a more significant portion of the country's GDP, as such congestion directly translates into extra time and money. In addition to transporting passengers, public transportation such as metros, trams, monorails, passenger trains, and others provide space for other vehicles. It also reduces the number of vehicles on the road, thereby reducing the likelihood of road congestion and fueling the expansion of the rolling stock power conversion system market to provide a more effective and efficient power conversion system. Urban rail offers a solution to cities affected by traffic and air pollution, while high-speed rail offers an essential alternative to aviation.
High Capital Requirement to Replace the Existing System
Due to the increased use of public transport services to reduce traffic congestion and the fact that rail is the cheapest and safest mode of transportation, rail transportation can be viewed as a driver of economic development. However, one of the primary restraints on the rolling stock power conversion system market is the extremely high capital requirements to replace the existing system. The high trains, rolling stock, and supporting infrastructure costs are highly capital-intensive and necessitate substantial financial support from local and central governments. For instance, the construction of the Delhi Metro Phase III underground section would cost USD 75 million per kilometer, as opposed to an average cost of USD 27 million.
Improvement in Railway Infrastructure in Developing Countries
Railroads can support economic expansion, which in turn increases the demand for transportation while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rail benefits developing nations in different ways, from social to environmental. A nation's rolling stock infrastructure boosts the effectiveness and speed of its rail systems for moving passengers and freight. A significant investment is also needed to implement automated trains. As a result, the governments of developing nations are making sizable investments to implement the most current technological setups needed for autonomous trains. It is anticipated to present many opportunities for national train automation players. Similar to this, developments in underdeveloped nations offer an opportunity for the market for rolling stock power conversion systems to expand.
The major players' presence on a global scale makes it easier for private and public organizations to collaborate to create an effective and efficient railway system. For instance, Indian Railways will develop new products and provide efficient logistics services to small farmers and small and medium-sized businesses. It will also take steps to integrate postal and railway networks to offer seamless parcel delivery solutions. Vehicle ownership rates in developing countries are lower than in wealthy countries, resulting in much worse air pollution and traffic congestion. Population growth and rising motorization rates are straining already overburdened infrastructure.
The global rolling stock power conversion system market is segmented by technology, component, and rolling stock type.
Based on technology, the global market is bifurcated into insulated gate bipolar transistors, gate turn-off thyristors, and silicon carbides.
The gate turn-off thyristor segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.12% during the forecast period. The gate turn-off thyristor (GTO) is a type of thyristor which is a high-power semiconductor device. GTO has broader applicability in rolling stock power conversion systems due to its adaptability to any diesel-electric engine and appropriateness for any passenger or freight rolling stock. Furthermore, the ability to solve obsolescence issues, increased efficiency and reduced space requirement all contribute to the use of gate turn-off thyristors in rolling stock.
The insulated gate bipolar transistor is a power semiconductor device with three terminals used as an electronic switch. Rolling stock power conversion systems are gaining popularity on trains due to the increased use of insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). It is because IGBT is the most recent power electronic component, with a broader range of applications in the traction system of electric rail vehicles. They replace the previous generation of inverters represented by gate turn-off thyristor (GTO), thereby increasing the system's operational efficiency. This IGBT operation efficiency contributes to the expansion of the market. In addition, government regulations governing IGBT installations are anticipated to propel the global rolling stock power conversion system market over the forecast period.
Based on components, the global market is bifurcated into rectifiers, inverters, alternators, auxiliary power units, and traction motors.
The traction motor segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.26% during the forecast period. Traction motors are electric motors used for vehicle propulsion, such as locomotives or electric roadway vehicles. Traction motors are used increasingly frequently in rolling stock due to improved and more effective motor windings, an appropriate power management system, dynamic braking, and automatic acceleration. These characteristics drive the use of traction motors, resulting in market growth. Europe and Asia-Pacific accounted for a sizable portion of the traction motor rolling stock power conversion system market.
Auxiliary power systems are designed to control different electrical parts of a vehicle. They also have other uses in the vehicle's rolling stock power conversion system. APUs are self-contained systems with small diesel engines connected to a low-capacity compressor and alternator. It allows the APU to maintain the pressure in the main reservoir, charge the battery, run the HVAC system in the driver's cabin, and handle other small loads as needed by the customer. The market's growth could be due to more flights using APUs as an additional source of electricity in case the engine generator fails. The segment's growth is expected to be helped by auxiliary power units being used as a source of bleed air for a starter assist on an engine already in flight.
Based on rolling stock type, the global market is bifurcated into locomotives, metros, monorails, trams, freight wagons, passenger coaches, and others.
The freight wagons segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.58% during the forecast period. Freight wagons are used to transport cargo, goods, or freight. Rail freight has several business benefits, such as more reliable freight transport, faster delivery, and lower costs, which are expected to drive market growth. It also helps society by reducing harmful emissions and traffic by cutting CO2 emissions by up to 76% compared to road transportation, which makes this segment even more likely to grow. Also, a rise in freight transportation is expected to give the market many opportunities to grow.
Passenger coaches designed to transport passengers require a more efficient power conversion system for vehicle operation. Passenger coaches to transport passengers from one location to another, including metros, trams, passenger railways, and monorails. As the population grows, so does the demand for passenger trains. Its advantages include dependability, affordability, and comfortable long and short-distance travel facilities. Furthermore, an increase in passenger coach occupancy is advantageous for market expansion.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
The global rolling stock power conversion system market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global rolling stock power conversion system market and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.89% during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific comprises developing nations such as China, Japan, India, and others, whose rail infrastructures are constantly being upgraded. Japan, South Korea, and China are the leading players in the region in terms of train automation, and these nations have achieved higher standards. The Asia-Pacific train automation industry is well-equipped with the latest technologies, including Communication Based Train Control (CBTC), European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), Automatic Train Control (ATC), and Positive Train Control (PTC), resulting in a secure and efficient system.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.69% during the forecast period. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada are countries located in North America. The United States has the highest market share in North America as a result of its substantial freight shipments, sophisticated rail network infrastructure, and cutting-edge rail automation. With a more than 170-year history, Alstom is a pioneer in mobility technology in the U.S. In order to serve a growing list of clients that includes major American cities, transit agencies, railroads, and airport transportation systems, Alstom transfers technology and localizes manufacturing to create new, sustainable, high-tech engineering and industrial employment across the nation. Its history is rooted in its expertise in developing and maintaining rail vehicles and locomotives, delivering turnkey transit systems and signaling solutions, and offering a wide range of specialized services. Alstom has provided more than 12,000 new or updated vehicles for customers in the United States and more than 50% of the railroad signaling in North America.
Europe is comprised of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and several other nations. Most of these nations operate automated trains, including France, Germany, and others. Most of them are automatically controlled from the control station and serve the passenger and freight segments within their country. These trains are outfitted with cutting-edge technology and are continually upgraded to accommodate new developments. In order to phase out diesel operations, rolling stock producers, railway operators, infrastructure managers, and policymakers are collaborating to transition trains to sustainable propulsion. The Rail Infra Forum, held in Berlin on October 12 and 13 (2022), will focus on advancements in environmentally friendly rolling stock and supporting infrastructure, such as refueling and charging stations. Alternative fuels and batteries on a passenger train, on-track machinery, and battery charging beneath a catenary are just a few examples. Hydrogen refueling is another.
LAMEA comprises nations from Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Latin America includes the countries of Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, and others. Rolling stock market expansion in the Middle East and Africa is driven by the increasing demand for constructing a robust railway system to transport goods and commuters. The Gulf Railway, comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, aims to establish a railway infrastructure to facilitate cross-border trade and travel.
The global rolling stock power conversion system market’s major key players are AEG Power Solutions, Toshiba Corporation, Kiepe Electric GmbH, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Wabtec Corporation, Thales, Strukton, Hitachi Corporation, ABB, Siemens AG, Alstom, Turbo Power System, and Hyundai Rotem Company.