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The global locomotive market size was valued at USD 8.63 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 8.93 billion in 2022 to USD 15.01 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.70% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with locomotive experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -7.68% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Locomotive is a crucial part of the train system; it is a specific type of train car, which runs the whole train set. It is a self-propelled train car that generates energy by burning fuel or runs on electricity using magnetic levitation and other methods. It is used to push or pull other train cars, helping transport goods and passengers worldwide from one place to another.
Growth in E-commerce Industry Post-pandemic to Propel Market Growth
Government-enforced lockdowns and economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic affected people in various ways, including restricted mobility. These conditions severely impacted the transportation & logistics industry. Nearly all the manufacturing companies were either planning to introduce or were in the process of increasing their production capacity to meet the demand. The COVID-19 outbreak brought an economic downturn, and restrictions temporarily suspended manufacturing and testing of locomotives. For instance, due to the pandemic, the Integral Coach factory downsized its production target from 4,402 to 1,954 coaches.
The initial impact of COVID-19 caused reduction in shipments through freight rail, slowed manufacturing, and downsized the annual locomotive production units. However, as most of the service industry shifted toward digitalization post-pandemic, the e-commerce industry witnessed a soaring demand that resulted in increased shipments as a recovery from the pandemic.
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High-speed Rails and Autonomous Trains are the Emerging Market Trends
Autonomous trains are emerging as an innovative solution to enhance the utilization of trains in cities and urban areas. Technologies, such as real-time data transmission systems and advanced sensor technology, fuel the development of autonomous trains in this industry.
Moreover, significant market players and railway corporations have adopted the automatic train control system to enhance the exchange of data, minimizing technical errors and gaining confidence of passengers. Governments of various countries have started the pilot testing and adoption of autonomous trains on their tracks. For instance, in June 2022, Alstom, with the help of the German Aerospace Centre and TU Berlin, shifted the pilot project focusing on developing autonomous trains to digitalize rail passenger transport in Germany to the next phase.
The integration of IoT and AI is contributing to the reliability and safety of the railway infrastructure by embracing data-driven operations for fleet control and operational efficiency of railways. Moreover, the adoption of a monitoring system resulted in reduced delays by tracking system failures. Such initiatives and innovations are the new trends in the market, which are increasing the market share during the forecast period.
Increasing Freight Transportation and E-commerce Logistics to Drive Market Growth
As the population is increasing, the difficulty in transportation is rising, resulting in traffic congestion and pollution emitted by vehicles on the road. Due to this, railway transit has become a prime mode of transport to travel within or across cities on a daily basis. Moreover, mass transit of people by rail provides them with cost-efficient and time-saving traveling.
For instance, in 2021, the number of commuters traveling by train in China was recorded at around 2.61 billion. This number exceeded by 18.5% as compared to the number of commuters who traveled in 2020, which was 2.53 billion. Thus, increasing train passengers will drive the locomotive market growth during the forecast period.
The expansion of urban and metropolitan regions also creates a lucrative demand for rail network expansion. With the increasing number of routes, new locomotive requirements are generated to fulfil various transportation demands. Governments of various states and countries are also focused on expanding the railway networks and investing a huge amount of capital in developing railways that will drive the market.
Rapid Urbanization and Expansion of Rail Transportation to Drive Market Growth
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the e-commerce segment witnessed a surge in demand as the goods an end-user required were delivered to them without accessing the stores, thereby decreasing contact and mitigating the risk of COVID-19. This method has continued after the pandemic as well and is increasing with the substantial flow of goods.
The logistic operation of e-commerce can be handled more efficiently through freight trains. Thus, the increase in e-commerce logistics demand will expand the market share during the forecast period.
For instance, in June 2022, the Indian Railways announced that freight loading, including e-commerce and other logistics, during May 2022 was 131.7 million tons (MT), which was 14.7% more than the previous year in May 2021.
Thus, increase in freight loading creates a need for high-power and efficient locomotive trains to carry a load of logistics from one place to another, thereby boosting the market.
High Capital and Service Cost May Hamper Market Growth
Besides being a substantial mode of transport, the railway network requires a significant amount of capital and maintenance costs to establish and operate. The cost of locomotive engines alone occupies a large share of the capital, including their maintenance and service costs.
For instance, a general diesel locomotive engine's average cost is in the range of around USD 0.5 million to USD 2 million. At the same time, an electric locomotive comes in the pricing range of above USD 6 million. Due to this, the cost of the locomotive restrains the market.
A modern hybrid diesel electric locomotive engine consists of six huge electric traction motors driven by an alternator cranked by diesel. Moreover, the infrastructure required to run the locomotives on the tracks is also expensive, adding to the capital cost. This entire system comes with high-cost components, making the locomotive engine expensive.
Growing Adoption of Green Energy Technologies Drives the Installation of Electric Propulsion System
Based on propulsion type, the market is segmented into diesel and electric.
The electric segment held the largest market share in 2021 and is anticipated to dominate during the forecast period. It is also the fastest-growing segment with the highest CAGR. As the majority of the world is inclining toward the use of green energy for a sustainable future, the electrification of trains plays a significant role in this revolution. The growth is attributed to increased interest in environmental safety and green.
The diesel segment held a significant market share in 2021. Diesel locomotive drives more power as compared to an electric locomotive. Diesel traction has 10% or higher load-hauling capacity than electric locomotives. Moreover, developing diesel locomotives with the help of advanced technologies to provide fuel and performance efficiency will boost the market's growth
Increasing Industrialization and Transportation of Material to Boost Freight Segment Growth
Based on end-use, the market is segmented into passengers and freight.
The freight segment held the largest market share in 2021. The increase in logistics due to rise in the e-commerce industry has created a lucrative demand for freight transportation in the market. The growth is also attributed to increasing rail transportation activities by key countries.
The passengers segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The demand for more efficient mass transit systems increases as the population increases. Besides the increasing urbanization and road traffic congestion due to the rising number of vehicles on the road, people are shifting toward rail transport for easy, quick, and cost-saving daily commute. Thus, the rise in population and urbanization, along with increasing traffic congestion, will foster the passenger segment growth.
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Development in Power Electronics Propels the IGBT Module Segment Growth
Based on technology, the market is segmented into IGBT module, GTO module, and SiC module.
The IGBT module segment held a significant market share in 2021, and might retain its position with the fastest growth rate throughout the forecast period. IGBT provides the advantage of high current handling capability and ease of control that may boost the growth. Moreover, rapid increase in the electrification of locomotives for sustainability and environmental concerns will augment the market growth. Thus, the conversion of locomotives into electric trains is expected to boost the growth. The GTO module segment held a decent share of the market in 2021.
The SiC module segment is anticipated to witness a sizable growth rate in the coming years. The demand for smaller-size, lighter weight traction converters with the advantages of high efficiency, power efficiency, operation temperatures, and frequency will fuel the demand for SiC modules during the forecast period. Moreover, the development of battery-hybrid trains will bolster the segment growth.
Development of Rectifiers to Drive the Segment Growth
Based on component, the market is split into rectifiers, inverter, motor, and others.
The rectifier segment held a considerable market share in 2021 and is expected to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. A rectifier is used in the locomotive to convert the AC supply into DC to feed the DC traction motors that are used in electric locomotives. This plays an essential role in the operation of the locomotive. Thus, the rising demand for electric locomotives will spur the segment’s growth in the market.
The motor segment is the fastest-growing segment in the market, with the highest CAGR. As motors are essential components in a locomotive, robust growth in their demand is anticipated due to the development of DC and AC motors. DC motors are used in trains due to their high torque and excellent speed control. Major market players are focusing on developing motors for better performance and efficiency; this development will enhance the market growth during the forecast period.
The inverter segment holds a significant share of the market. The inverters used in locomotives act as control devices to convert the train's power source into a suitable power source that helps drive the traction motors. It also supplies power to other parts such as fans, compressors, and others. Thus, the increasing deployment of luxury components and development of inverters will augment the market growth.
Asia Pacific Locomotive Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific holds a significant locomotive market share, and its value stood at USD 3.37 billion in 2021. The factors accelerating the regional market growth include increased passenger as well as freight transportation. For instance, in 2021, China reached a high-speed rail network of around 40,000 kilometers. This development is predicted to propel the market growth during the forecast period. Moreover, most consumers prefer locomotives in key countries such as China, Japan, and India. This will lead to an increase in product demand in the Asia Pacific market.
Europe is expected to show substantial growth in the market due to the high demand for electric locomotives to reduce emissions and transportation costs. The electric locomotive segment captured the largest market share in Europe due to the presence of key manufacturers and adoption of electric locomotives for passenger and freight transportation. In 2021, Russia increased its freight transport volume (1,284.07 million metric tons) compared to 2020 (1,244.62 million metric tons). This will lead to an exponential surge in product demand.
North America is also anticipated to witness favorable growth in the market. The fleet size of locomotives in the region increased in 2021 as compared to 2020. The growth is attributed to the rising demand for locomotives for freight transportation. Also, the increase in rail infrastructure investment by the governments will positively impact the market growth.
Transmashholding (TMH) Holds the Dominant Position Owing to Developments and Industrious Partnerships
Transmashholding (TMH) is the leading player in the market. TMH provides a wide range of products and services, ranging from the design and development of rolling stock to digital traffic control systems. The company also offers passenger trains, coaches, metro cars, locomotives, engines, and components to railway operators and manufacturers in 30 countries. For instance, in December 2021, TMH announced that it had completed the locomotive delivery contract signed with Ulan Bator Railway in 2019 for 24 vehicles. The company shipped four Class 2TE25K2M mainline freight diesel locomotives in December and three Class TEM18DM shunting diesel locomotives in November.
In October 2022, Union Pacific signed a partnership with ZTR to develop new hybrid-electric locomotives. Five more hybrid-electric locomotives are expected to be delivered in 2024. Union Pacific will replace one diesel locomotive with two locomotives, known as ‘mother-slug’ sets.
In September 2022, Siemens Mobility extended its partnership agreement with leasing rolling stock specialist Akiem. Under this agreement, Siemens Mobility will provide a supply of 65 Vectron AC and Vectron MS locomotives to Akiem. The trains contain a maximum power of 6.4MWs and attain a maximum speed of 200km/h or 230km/h providing fast freight and passenger services across several countries in Europe.
In July 2022, Wabtec Corp signed a contract with Union Pacific to modernize 600 locomotives. The contract was valued at USD 1 billion. The modernization of locomotives will improve fuel efficiency by up to 18%, increase reliability by more than 80%, boost haulage ability by more than 55%, and extend the life of the engines.
In April 2022, Stadler signed a contract with Becon Rail for 30 bi-mode locomotives in the U.K. Under this contract, Stadler will deliver 30 Class 99 bi-mode Co'Co' locomotives along with its spare parts to be used for its operation in the U.K. The new locomotives are designed to be compatible with British gauge, and the specification combines 25kV A.C. electric and diesel operating modes. GB Railfreight will operate these locomotives.
In November 2021, Wabtec Corp signed a contract with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to supply 100 ES30ACi Evolution Series Locomotives and a multi-year service agreement to maintain the fleet. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development funded the locomotive supply contract.
An Infographic Representation of Locomotive Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, propulsion type, end-users, technology, and components. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Propulsion Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 8.63 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 15.01 billion by 2029.
The market is expected to register a CAGR of 7.70% during the forecast period of 2022-2029.
Rapid urbanization and expansion of rail transportation are expected to drive the market growth.
Asia Pacific led the global market in 2021.
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