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RAIL LIVE 2019: The railway digitalization

Mar 19, 2019

railwayUnsurprisingly, the railway industry also follows the technological advances that are happening today. That is why there are so many conferences, exhibitions and events taking place in the world, in which participants showcase the latest advances and discuss how such advances should be incorporated into the railway sector.

This year is particularly important for the Spanish railway sector because it’s facing the opening of the sector to competition in 2020. This will spark numerous changes, since – as has been mentioned in a previous blog post – it will force operators to carry out some big undertakings as they are driven to increase on-board value-added services. Among these are providing Wi-Fi to fleets for passengers and employees, equipping trains with on-board entertainment platforms or adding CCTV systems to increase vehicle safety.

Two weeks ago, the Rail Live 2019 exhibition was held in Bilbao. Rail Live is an exhibition and conference dedicated to innovations that are transforming the railway industry. The event consisted of high-level conferences accompanied by an exhibition of the latest developments in the railway sector. Railway operators, train manufacturers and numerous infrastructure equipment and component suppliers met at the event to present and discuss the latest trends and technologies in the railway world.

RAIL LIVE was an opportunity to see all kinds of innovations for the sector, from civil engineering and construction to telecommunications and computer infrastructure.

Innovations in vehicles

Lots of trends will be incorporated into both railway vehicles and vehicle production lines in order to provide high-quality, state-of-the-art vehicles. In addition, design and innovation always go hand in hand, particularly with a view to producing designs capable of reducing emissions as much as possible, improving energy efficiency in electrical systems, and optimizing vehicles’ aerodynamic properties or carbon footprint.

Improvements in railway operations

There are many advances being incorporated into the sector to improve operations. One of them is the digitalization of railway infrastructure which provides new opportunities and increases the flexibility and efficiency of the network. The immense amount of data available means that, thanks to digital solutions, both operators and passengers alike can benefit from increased service availability and high levels of automation, security and sustainability.

In addition, the next few years will see major advances in automated driving technologies, which will be crucial to operators in the face of an ever-increasing demand for services and expansion of the network. Thanks to these technologies, we’ll be able to see semi-automatic or driverless trains, allowing for more capacity on the network and an increase in punctuality, reliability, energy efficiency and security in railway operations.

IT and signaling

The continual development of railway signaling systems and the incorporation of groundbreaking technologies into the railway world will allow the sector to evolve towards new business models and a new “smart train” concept. Indeed, the sector is already preparing to introduce the new 5G technology, which is expected to bring major benefits. Artificial Intelligence, sensors installed in trains and along tracks, Big Data techniques and smart technologies will also provide revolutionary solutions to meet the sector’s needs. And the digital transformation of the railway sector is only just beginning.

Thus, in order to define what the train of the future will be like, leading international players from the sector went to RAIL LIVE to bring ideas to the table as to how these new technologies should be applied in the railway world. Civil engineering and construction, track innovation, IoT and new technologies are just some of the areas in the sector that are going to undergo major changes in the coming years.

Trains and railways can now get the latest in telecommunications technologies thanks to Teldat’s H2-Rail railway communications platform and APR222ac railway access point. With the Teldat railway range, the digital transformation is already a reality in the sector.

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