Top 10 trends that are changing the game for Railways

There are many technologies which are now changing the landscape of the Railways & Metro Projects globally and few technologies which are interesting are as follows : 


  • Technology: Additive manufacturing is the source of this technology, the level of 3d printing has heavily increased over the past few years. The rail sector is thus increasingly turning to 3D printing. The technology will reduce their manufacture up to 95%.
  • Uses: This technology helps to visualize the designs before actual manufacturing . Also some of the spare parts needed which are no longer produced and because it is a small batch of volume required, it does not make any economical sense to ask the manufacture them. Hence, 3D printing can play a vital role in making spare parts.
  • Application and Potential: In the railway industry, more and more companies are adopting 3D printing technology in their production and maintenance work which can revolutionize the Railway sector.

2. DRONES : 

  • Technology: Drones can be deployed to undertake monitoring activities of project construction and development. A drone is essentially a flying robot that can be remotely handled through software-controlled flight plans embedded in its system working in conjunction with GPS.
  • Uses: Drones operate with a different state of the art technology as infrared cameras, GPS and laser. Additionally, it will be controlled by remote ground control system (GSC) etc . These drones can also be used for various railway activities such as assisting in maintenance of tracks and other railway infrastructure .
  •  Application and potential : In India , Drones are now being adopted to monitor railway projects , aid in crowd management and oversee maintenances work across its zone. It is also being used to access preparedness of non-interlocking (NI) works, crowd management during fairs, to identify scrap and also for aerial survey of station yards.


  • Technology: BIM is the technology utilized from designing to the graphical representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a structure or a project .  BIM is a shared knowledge resource for facility information that provides a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle (from design to demolition).
  • Uses :  BIM allows designing, planning,  building, following and  saving projects throughout  the construction process. One of the key benefits of BIM is that all project information can now be contained or linked to BIM. 
  • Applications and Potential : Its application to the railway sector is booming with its adoption in multiple projects such as designing, planning, building, throughout the construction process.


  • Technology : Artificial intelligence demonstrated by machines can be classified into three different things that is analytical, human-inspired, and humanized artificial intelligence.
  • Uses :Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now investing significant resources into one of the most valuable and potentially rewarding currencies in business, the scale of manufacturing and asset maintenance industry is expanding so rapidly.
  •  Application and potential : The rail industry is now ready to exploit the capabilities of AI. This also includes the Conditional Based Maintenance (CBM) and Predictive maintenance (PM). Though CBM and PM are commonly adopted practices in rail industry & the scope of CBM is far wider than that of PM.


  • Technology : Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) is a new dimension to the railways and it utilized the approach to learn across multiple technology platforms that overlays data and visuals the physical world.
  • Uses : The interactive demonstrations of AR & VR and the associated technologies make it disruptive the order to procure, create, store, the best use of data.
  • Application and potential :  In India , Augmented reality is now being utilized where a new app allows passengers to book their ticket whilst viewing the coach and the seats along with their suitable mind and comfort.


  • Technology: Cyber security is totally based on consultancy providing standard based cyber security services to agencies and the organizations.The digitization of the railway sector and the move from electromechanical to digital IP-enabled technology is being encouraged.
  • Uses: The Cybersecurity can be utilized to prevent the vulnerability of railways data systems and protect them from being hacked . This means that  railway communication systems are enhanced with security along with new technological and process measures being implemented.
  • Applications and potential in India :Cyber security becomes a necessary part if railways as the industry adopts the new technologies. It requires the railway community to open their boundaries to new methods of Cybersecurity . Such measures are now being considered in the Railways & Metro Sector in India .


  • Technology : A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that designed and present all types of geographic data.
  • Uses : GIS  is used for Mapping  quantities, Mapping densities, Finding what is inside, Finding what is nearby & Mapping change. Also its accuracy depends on the data source. The most common method to create is digitization.
  • Application and potential : Railway operation have a wide spatial coverage. All the rail assets can be mapped and subsequently used to develop the Indian Railways GIS Portal.


  • Technology : E-mobility technologies are already changing the Indian transport network. Railways are making easier way to travel for passengers in metro and train.
  • Uses  The basic use is to stay connected and stay tuned to their lives and also make traveling easy for passengers and to book their trips from door to door.
  • Applications and potential :  People will be able to connect their lives with each and also be able to travel from one destination to another through one common solution or common mobility card .


  • Technology : The global trends are slowly moving towards adopting greener forms of transport which are also effecting the railway industry.
  • Uses : These various trains are currently being developed worldwide including three major things that are Hydrogen fuel cell in trains, engine and liquidized gas.
  • Applications and potential :  India Railways consumes about 3 billion litres of diesel. A tiny part of that will replaced by natural gas and further electrification is also the aim of the Indian Railways . This investment will help in developing zero-emission, ultra efficient and avaricious alternatives to the trains.


  • Technology : This technology is for operating Trains significantly faster than the existing rail traffic, using an integrated system with specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks .
  • Uses : People will travel in less time for far off destinations and the high speed rail would run averagely speed of 320km per hour.
  • Application and potential :  NHSRCL is implementing the project of high speed railway corridor that will work out be 508.17km. The route of Mumbai Ahmadabad HSR will be passing through 2 states and that is Maharashtra and Gujarat and one union territory, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.  Further advancements are being made such as Semi High Speed Corridors , etc .

All image credit: Pixabay

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