News Release – Rail Forum Europe welcomes UNIFE forecast of steady growth for the world rail market

Brussels, 11 October 2012 – Growth of the rail supply market will continue well through 2015-2017 based on a generally favourable environment for rail. In this context, the European rail supply industry will benefit from growth perspectives based on its export strength and innovation. The highest growth is expected in Africa, the Middle East, Russia, the CIS and Latin America. Growth in these regions compensates for the slowdown of rail investments in China.

These are the main results of the 4th edition of the UNIFE World Rail Market Study presented to MEPs at a Rail Forum Europe breakfast-meeting held on 10 October in Brussels. The study, conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants had been officially launched on 18 September at the InnoTrans fair in Berlin.

Andreas Schwilling, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, explained that the market was analysed in four dimensions: transport and product segments, regions and accessibility of the market. The current market increased by more than 3% per year over the last two years. In a special chapter of the study, Roland Berger described the mechanisms in the rail supply industry and its sensitivity to business cycles and public spending. “Passenger transport suffered little in the economic crisis in 2008-09, whereas rail freight dropped and recovered substantially, but had not reached pre-crisis levels by 2011”  said Mr. Schwilling.

Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General, listed the main trends that continue to drive the growth of the industry, such as overall economic growth, energy scarcity and environmental concern, deregulation and liberalization. Rail supply markets are forecast to grow at 2.7% in the next six years. “This figure shows the vitality of the rail supply market, especially in some geographical areas such as Western Europe, Russia and CIS, Brazil and Qatar. In this respect, I am happy to conclude that, despite increasing competition, the European rail industry will retain its leading market position in the coming years” he said.

Michael Cramer, Member of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe Board Member, raised the question on the actual impact of rail investment on jobs and on the increase of the number of passengers. “We need reliable data on these questions and should bear in mind that often the revitalisation and upgrading of existing lines generates more benefits than the construction of megaprojects that cost billions of Euros and take decades to be realised" he pointed out.

Brian Simpson, Chairman of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe President, concluded that “the results of the study are definitely very encouraging for the sector. We should continue to promote rail investments, especially in Eastern European countries where the absorption rate of EU funds for rail projects is still too low”.

To download the press release in pdf, please click here.

About Rail Forum Europe

Founded by Members of the European Parliament from across the parliamentary committees, Rail Forum Europe is an international non-profit making association that aims at bringing together EU decision-makers and the rail sector to achieve a better understanding of rail-related issues.

Rail Forum Europe is governed solely by a Managing Board of MEPs, the President of which is Mr Brian Simpson (Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism).

For more information on Rail Forum Europe, please contact  or visit


Rail Forum Europe. The MEPs’ platform dedicated to rail transport.

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on October 11, 2012

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