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Rolling stock industry worldwide - statistics & facts

The global rolling stock industry, most commonly referring to the manufacturing of rail vehicles, represented around 51.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In the United States, this industry can also include some heavy road vehicles such as buses.

With a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent between 2015-2017 and 2021-2023, Latin America is projected to be the fastest-growing region for the rail supply market. China-based CRRC Corporation Limited was the leading rolling stock manufacturer in 2019, with rail activity revenue reaching 21.3 billion euros (some 26 billion U.S. dollars as of December 31, 2019). CRRC's revenue dwarfed that of all other manufacturers worldwide. Alstom and Bombardier had a joint revenue of around 15.6 billion euros (around 17.5 billion U.S. dollars) that same year, with Alstom being second in the market. In 2021, the France-based company finalized the acquisition of Bombardier’s rail segment.

A diverse market

The rolling stock industry varies depending on the development of fares and freight rates in the transportation industry in each region. 2019 market distribution in North America was largely dominated by metro units, followed by locomotives. Recording 472 stations in 2018, the New York City subway was one of the largest metro networks based on the volume of stations. In 2015, it was followed by the Shanghai Metro, Beijing Subway, and Seoul Subway, all amounting to over 300 stations each. Southeast Asia recorded the highest demand for metro rolling stock worldwide a few years later, in 2019, representing 36 percent of the global market.

Multiple-unit trains were also a popular type of rolling stock, with demand making up close to half the European market due to the region’s extensive rail network, with Germany having the longest total length of rail lines at some 33,370 kilometers in 2020. The multiple-unit train market amounted to just under 9.8 billion euros (almost 11 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, with forecasts projecting it to grow up to 14.4 billion euros in 2024. Single-deck electric multiple-unit trains comprised three quarters of this market in 2019, with double-deck electric multiple-unit trains holding 11 percent, making electric-powered trains the most popular type of multiple-unit train rolling stock.

COVID-19’s impact on rolling stock companies

Alstom recorded an increase of its sales revenue by about 7.2 percent between the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years. However, order intake for the rolling stock segment of the French company was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping by 107 million euros (some 120 million U.S. dollars). Switzerland-based Stadler reported a similar effect on its order intake, with a year-on-year drop of 32.7 percent between 2019 and 2020. As various national lockdowns took effect across the globe, ridership in rail and other public transports dropped, with mainline rail ridership dropping by over 36 percent. Freight was also deeply affected by the economic downturn which led to a drop in demand of about seven percent. In this context, there was also a slump in demand for rolling stock used to respond to freight and passenger transport needs.

However, forecasts remain optimistic, projecting a rise of the global rolling stock market value to 64.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.

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Rolling stock industry worldwide

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Rolling stock industry worldwide - statistics & facts

The global rolling stock industry, most commonly referring to the manufacturing of rail vehicles, represented around 51.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In the United States, this industry can also include some heavy road vehicles such as buses.

With a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent between 2015-2017 and 2021-2023, Latin America is projected to be the fastest-growing region for the rail supply market. China-based CRRC Corporation Limited was the leading rolling stock manufacturer in 2019, with rail activity revenue reaching 21.3 billion euros (some 26 billion U.S. dollars as of December 31, 2019). CRRC's revenue dwarfed that of all other manufacturers worldwide. Alstom and Bombardier had a joint revenue of around 15.6 billion euros (around 17.5 billion U.S. dollars) that same year, with Alstom being second in the market. In 2021, the France-based company finalized the acquisition of Bombardier’s rail segment.

A diverse market

The rolling stock industry varies depending on the development of fares and freight rates in the transportation industry in each region. 2019 market distribution in North America was largely dominated by metro units, followed by locomotives. Recording 472 stations in 2018, the New York City subway was one of the largest metro networks based on the volume of stations. In 2015, it was followed by the Shanghai Metro, Beijing Subway, and Seoul Subway, all amounting to over 300 stations each. Southeast Asia recorded the highest demand for metro rolling stock worldwide a few years later, in 2019, representing 36 percent of the global market.

Multiple-unit trains were also a popular type of rolling stock, with demand making up close to half the European market due to the region’s extensive rail network, with Germany having the longest total length of rail lines at some 33,370 kilometers in 2020. The multiple-unit train market amounted to just under 9.8 billion euros (almost 11 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, with forecasts projecting it to grow up to 14.4 billion euros in 2024. Single-deck electric multiple-unit trains comprised three quarters of this market in 2019, with double-deck electric multiple-unit trains holding 11 percent, making electric-powered trains the most popular type of multiple-unit train rolling stock.

COVID-19’s impact on rolling stock companies

Alstom recorded an increase of its sales revenue by about 7.2 percent between the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years. However, order intake for the rolling stock segment of the French company was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping by 107 million euros (some 120 million U.S. dollars). Switzerland-based Stadler reported a similar effect on its order intake, with a year-on-year drop of 32.7 percent between 2019 and 2020. As various national lockdowns took effect across the globe, ridership in rail and other public transports dropped, with mainline rail ridership dropping by over 36 percent. Freight was also deeply affected by the economic downturn which led to a drop in demand of about seven percent. In this context, there was also a slump in demand for rolling stock used to respond to freight and passenger transport needs.

However, forecasts remain optimistic, projecting a rise of the global rolling stock market value to 64.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Rolling stock industry worldwide".

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