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Railway Axle Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Rail Axle Type (Hollow Axles, Roller Axles, and Others), By Application Type (Locomotives, High Speed, and Wagons), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2032

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103656



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The global railway axle market size was valued at USD 211.7 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 380.2 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period.

The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with rail axles witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -1% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2016-2019.

In the past few years, the railway transportation system is undergoing extensive changes, as the demand for railway transportation has greatly increased. In each country, they are not only an integral part of the national infrastructure but also make great contributions to a sustainable future. Providing reliable rolling stock and infrastructure equipment is an important part of obtaining a high level of safety. The rail wheels and axles are the most critical components of railway engines and bogies, which are designed and manufactured in such a way that they can withstand heavy load and have a long operational life. These axles are used to transmit the vertical load of the body to the wheels. These axles are attached to the wagons, each wagon consists of two axles, one at the front and the other at the rear end of the wagon. The bearings are fitted through the rail axle and then wheels are mounted on the axle. Factors such as increasing government initiatives and investments in the railway industry are expected to fuel the demand for railway axle over the forecast period. In our study, we have considered hollow and roller axles in the axle type segment.

An Infographic Representation of Railway Axle Market

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Growth of Railway Axles Market to Slow Down Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the passenger railway operators are undergoing tremendous financial pressure. This is mainly due to strict social distancing regulations and a sharp decline in the ticket revenue, which has led to an increase in the level of transport capacity, thereby leading to a shortage of operating funds, especially investment funds. In particular, the ever-increasing deficits of municipal companies may lead to the suspension of upcoming and existing investment plans. For example, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) faces a deficit of $16 billion in the next four years and requires financial support from the federal government. However, due to the long delivery time, the purchase of new cars is advancing, and demand is expected to resume by 2021. Therefore, the financial impact on infrastructure investment will be greater than the expenditure on new railway cars. Moreover, due to the pandemic, the airline companies are focusing on improving the rail transport networks and reducing short-haul flights which will promote the adoption of long-distance and high-speed trains in the coming years. For example, the shipping time of sea and air transit and the increase in air freight transit prices have further improved the viability of long-distance trains operating on the Trans-Eurasian Railway.


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Increasing Demand for Safe and Efficient Transportation System is Boosting the Growth of Market

According to the Road Safety Report of the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.25 million people die in road accidents, globally one of the leading causes of death is road traffic injuries, especially among people aged 15 to 29 years. In lower and middle economic countries more than 90% of people get injured as these countries have 55% of the world's vehicles. Road accidents cause a huge economic impact to these small nations as it accounts for 3% of their GDP. Rising road accidents and the increasing inclination of consumers are in turn boosting the growth rate of the market over the forecast period as rail transportation is considered an economic and safe mode of transportation.

In recent years, trains are equipped with advanced components such as communication devices, cameras, and sensors. For example, on 29 March 2019, Althen Sensors & Controls launched Weight in Motion System at the Railtech event held in Utrecht, Netherland. This technology is a stationary measurement system that offers various safety parameters such as, number of axles, overload detection, identification number of locomotives and wagon type, flat wheels, weight in motion, etc. Furthermore, modern trains consume lesser energy owing to better traction, braking system, and acceleration, resulting in energy consumption reduction by 30% as per the degree of automation. Additionally, these trains offer a better and flexible way to coordinate, majorly in terms of frequency, which results in improvement of system performance across all aspects, in turn driving the growth of the market.


Rising Demand for Fuel Efficient Products Coupled with Increasing Environmental Concerns to Aid the Railway Axle Market Growth

In the past decade, the number of vehicles worldwide has increased. Increasing disposable income of consumers and the development of road infrastructure is one of the prime reasons for the growth of automobiles. High vehicle rates lead to problems such as mental and physical and mental health problems, road accidents, and wastage of precious time. Additionally, rising traffic leads to high emissions that cause an increase in greenhouse gases and global warming. Various governments across the globe are focusing to curb the rising vehicular pollution.

Dual-mode and hydrogen-powered engines are in huge demand in the railway industry. The dual-mode can run through diesel in uneconomical electrified places, and can also use overhead cables to use electricity through places with electrified rails. This in turn enables the reduction of the dependency on fuels and leads to lower fuel emission. The hydrogen-powered trains do not require overhead cables but run on hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen fuel is placed on the roof of locomotives and generates electricity by mixing oxygen and hydrogen. Steam and water are emitted as a byproduct of this system, which makes this system environmentally friendly. For instance, in March 2020, CZ Loko announced to manufacture advanced three new hybrid locomotives namely, DualLiner 2000, EffiLiner 2000, and DualShunter 2000. These advanced locomotives are expected to be in operation by 2023. All three locomotives are based on HybridShunter 400 which uses battery power and also has a CAT C4.4 backup diesel engine with an output power of 130kW.

Adoption of Lightweight Materials for Autonomous Driving Trains to Drive the Market Growth

The continuous advancement of train networks and train technology, as well as the development trend of autonomous driving technology, are forcing train manufacturers to invest heavily in research and development to manufacture light materials for the axles of freight trains, passenger trains, bullet trains, metro trains, and short-distance trains. Approximately 7 billion passengers travel by train every year, and these passengers have a desire for a fast and comfortable commute at low prices. This is another factor that drives autonomous train technology. In addition, because automatic trains are equipped with computer monitoring technology that can detect wheel hubs and axle failures, they are also expected to gain higher traction.


Capital Intensive Rolling Stock as well as High Cost of Maintenance Likely to Hamper the Market Growth

Individuals are increasingly inclined to rail transportation, which has recently led to high demand for these products in recent times. Increasing traffic congestion and related problems are the main reasons for the transformation of transportation modes. In addition, the development of railway infrastructure, cheap fares, environmentally-friendly transportation, and faster modes of transportation are factors for the high locomotive and bogie production in the global market. Therefore, this has led to a large investment in rolling stock by the legal department.

The latest developments in railway infrastructure, the introduction of high-speed trains for passengers and freight, the adoption of advanced technologies, the expansion of the railway network, and the upcoming various railway projects throughout the city require substantial investment. Due to the limited budget allocated by the government, all these investments may not be fulfilled. In addition, regular maintenance and replacement of parts may result in high expenditures. For example, Indian Railways made an announcement in April 2018 to introduce India’s first 12,000 HP electric freight locomotive. The entire project costs around $200 billion to roll out 800 horsepower locos for 11 years. The average cost of each locomotive is projected to be around $250 million. This clearly indicates the immediate requirement of heavy capital for building and maintaining the entire train network, which may hamper the growth of the market.


By Rail Axle Type Analysis

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Roller Axles Segment is Expected to Dominate the Market

Based on rail type, the market is segmented into hollow axles, roller axles, and others. The roller axle segment accounts for the major share in the global market owing to its wide usage in railway vehicles by the manufacturers. Roller axles are highly integrated with surrounding parts and involve advanced sealing mechanisms. They have excellent performance, durability, and ease of handling. The American Association of Railroads (AAR) has approved the use of roller axles in freight wagons and has been widely used in markets around the world. In Japan, axles have long been used in rail containers and enjoy a high reputation among the users for their outstanding performance and durability. In recent years, the rolling bearings have been used in a wider range of applications, including new models of Shinkansen trains and conventional electric and diesel trains.

By Application Type Analysis

Wagons Segment is Expected to Hold the Largest Market Share

Based on the application type, the market is segmented into locomotives, high speed, and wagons. The wagons segment holds the largest share of the global market. The rapid urbanization, development of rail infrastructures as well as the adoption of technologically advanced features in the transportation sector especially in developing economies have created high opportunities for the rail wheel and axle market in passenger and freight wagons.

Wagons are powerless railway vehicles that are used for the transportation of goods and passengers via railways. The rail wagons are faster, safe, and economical at the same time as compared to road transportation. The wagons have a large carrying capacity and can hold heavy loads of goods at the same time. Nowadays, the manufacturing companies are investing a high percentage in developing rail vehicles that are technologically advanced, reliable, safer, and faster in order to fulfill the increasing demand for rail transportation. Predominantly in cities and urban areas, the government authorities are focusing more on promoting mass transportation, which will eventually create growth opportunities for the global market over the forecast period.


Asia Pacific Railway Axle Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 95.4 million in 2019. The region holds dominance in the global market owing to increasing urbanization, growing disposable income, as well as expansion of the industrial sector. The presence of key players in the Asia Pacific region is projected to boost the growth of the market in the region. The companies such as Taiyuan Heavy Industry, Datong ABC Castings Company Limited, and many other players are developing various opportunities in the region. Moreover, these vendors have a strong focus on research and development. Also, the companies have entered into collaborations with other organizations to boost export transactions and manufacturing technologically advanced products. The companies are making strategic investments to strengthen their capabilities. The presence of railway wheel and axle manufacturers in Asia Pacific countries is creating industry development opportunities due to their sales and manufacturing parameters. These factors are projected to witness high growth of this market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period at significant CAGR.

North America also holds the second-largest share in the global market owing to the presence of advanced railway networks between countries. The railway has deployed robust trackside detectors to identify microscopic defects in the equipment when the train passes at full speed. With such advanced technologies the railway network likely to remain in profit and at low maintenance cost. Also, the existence of multimodal transport hubs (railroads, ships, and trucks) in North America helps the railway industry to supply large amounts of goods globally. Furthermore, this factor is propelling the growth of the rail wheel (railway wheel) market in North America and expected to witness a high CAGR during the forecast period. Europe is also expected to show steady growth in this market.

However, many countries in the Middle East and Africa, are growing to become larger and a well-established rail transport industry owing to the increasing number of events brought up by the leaders of the entire transportation community and various representatives from regional and international governments. These events bring together a global platform of the latest brands showcasing advanced technology and innovations.


Bombardier Transportation is a Leading Player in the Global Railway Axle Market.

Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in railway technology, offering the broadest product portfolio in the railway industry, and providing innovative products and services, thereby setting new standards for sustainable mobility. Bombardier technology is built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy, and ecology to save energy, protect the environment, and improve the overall performance of the trains. The company’s manufacturing plant in Siegen has customized bogie solutions for national and international railway transportation for over 100 years. Over the past few years, the internal manufacturing of wheelsets has been introduced by the company and will produce all necessary wheelsets in the future. Besides, other major companies including CRRC, Alstom, and CAF have been focusing on expanding their reach in developing countries and are adopting various strategies to uphold their position in the global market.


  • Amsted Rail Company, Inc. (Chicago, United States)

  • CAF USA, Inc. (New York, United States)

  • Bombardier Inc. (Montreal, Canada)

  • CRRC Corporation Limited (Beijing, China)

  • Kolowag AD (Septemvri, Bulgaria)

  • Bonatrans Group A.S. (Bohumin, Czech Republic)

  • Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Bharat Forge Ltd. (Pune, India)

  • VELTRUP Technik Philippines (Manila, Philippines)

  • ArcelorMittal A.S. (Luxembourg)

  • Lucchini RS S.p.A. (Brescia, Italy)

  • United Metallurgical Company (Moscow, Russia)

  • Semco India Ltd. (Pune, India)


  • October 2020 – JSPL Becomes India’s First Company to Develop Rails for High-Speed Corridors Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) becomes the first company in India to produce heat-treated rails for high speed and high axle load applications. Heat treatment (HT) rails (60E1 1175) are superior to 1080 HH and will be incorporated by the Indian Railways for heavy-duty and high-speed applications.

  • November 2020 – Bombardier’s JV Wins a Contract from China State Railway Group Bombardier Sifang Transportation Co., Ltd. (BST) a Chinese joint venture of Bombardier Transportation signs a contract with China National Railway Group Co., Ltd. to provide it with 112 CR300AF- a new Chinese standard high-speed train based on China's growing high-speed rail network. These cars will be configured trainsets with an operating speed of 250 km/h.


The market research report provides a detailed industry analysis and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. 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 over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD million) & Volume (thousand units)


By Rail Axle Type

  • Hollow Axle

  • Roller Axle

  • Others

By Application Type

  • Locomotives

  • High Speed

  • Wagons

By Geography

  • North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, South Korea and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Rest of the World

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global Railway Axle Market size was USD 211.7 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 270.5 million by 2025.

In 2019, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 95.4 million.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% and will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2025).

Rail axle type segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Rising demand for fuel efficient products, coupled with increasing environmental concerns, to boost the market growth

Bombardier Transportation is the leading player in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.

Adoption of lightweight materials for autonomous driving trains is expected to drive the market growth.

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