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Rail Transport: Generating USD886 million in annual IoT revenue by 2032

  • Connected Rails
  • Connected Trains
  • GHG Emissions
  • GSM-R
  • Infotainment
  • Mobile Train Radio Communication
  • MTRC
  • Railway Communication
  • Railway Internet
  • Smart Trains
  • Sustainability
  • Rail
  • Public Transport
  • Freight
  • Logistics
  • Telematics
  • Transport
  • Transportation.
  • Matt Arnott
  • Rohan Bansal
This report summarises the status and forecasts from the Rail Transport Application Group found in the Transforma Insights Connected Things IoT forecast. The report provides a description of what is covered in the Application Group, as well as top-level figures from the forecast that provide detail on how many connected devices will be installed, the types of communication technology used and the total revenue opportunity. Full details are accessible through the TAM Forecast tool.

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the use of IoT in Rail Transport, with a particular focus on railways as a public transport service as well as its freight vehicle management system.

While rail traffic consumes only 2% of total transport energy, it carries 8% of the world’s passengers and transports 7% of global freight. The railway industry is currently implementing IoT solutions to ensure the safe, sustainable, and timely transportation of passengers and freight. Deploying these solutions can allow authorities to monitor drivers and their behaviour when they are on duty, ensuring they can detect and correct unsafe practices or behaviour. Sensors are also being installed on trains to keep a constant check on vehicle condition and monitor their location in real-time, thus ensuring their punctuality and promoting their use among the general populace. Due to the mobile nature of this Application Group, the majority of devices will make use of Cellular and Satellite technologies.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used (including splits by 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, LPWA, short range, satellite and others), as well as the revenue split between module, value-added connectivity and services.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector break-downs and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Rail Transport

This part of the report charts the reasons behind the increasing investment in railway infrastructure (such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the growing popularity of railway services among the general populace, especially the Americans). It also talks about why IoT solutions are being implemented in the railway industry and the benefits derived from them (such as keeping a constant check on the condition of the vehicles and monitoring their location in real-time).

It then discusses the connectivity technologies that are required for the smooth functioning of rail transport (such as railway-specific cellular technologies), followed by the challenges of the market (like the lack of financial resources to implement IoT solutions in railways) and the scope for the expansion of railway networks by the developed nations and countries such as India and China.

The rest of the “Market Development” section has been further split between the two main sub-applications: Rail Freight Vehicle Management and Public Transport Service (Rail).

Rail Freight Vehicle Management

This section of the report focuses on how rail freight transport can offer significant benefits and prove to be a sustainable solution, a claim backed by various studies. For instance, a coalition of European rail freight companies estimated that rail freight emits nine times less CO2 and particulate matter than road transport. It then charts several benefits of upgrading freight trains with IoT (such as keeping a check on the condition of goods that are being transported).

This section also comprises a few examples of relevant IoT deployments in this application as well, such as Nexxiot partnering with Eurowagon to offer remote rail monitoring solutions. Under this partnership, Nexxiot’s gateway devices will be equipped on Eurowagon’s non-powered freight wagons, and this will allow businesses to gain full visibility and transparency into their daily operations.

Public Transport Service – Rail

This section of the report discusses at length how connectivity within rail transport will also prove useful for passenger rail cars. For instance, connectivity on trains assists in optimising passenger flow and ensures that the trains are not overcrowded by encouraging the arrival of trains at regular intervals.

It also discusses how governments across the globe are heavily investing to promote the use of rail transport and other means of transportation to control congestion, reduce carbon emissions, and promote sustainability within the transport sector, followed by the effect on passenger numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also talks about the barriers (such as the adoption of work-from-home policies) that may limit the adoption of connected solutions in the railway industry.

It also gives some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this application, such as the Indian Railways partnering with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the real-time tracking and movement of trains. The partnership will enable automatic updating of train timings at stations, including that of arrival and departure or run-through and provide live train information to passengers.

Key vendors for Rail Transport Application Group

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the market such as ClearBlade, Siemens, Cisco, Klas Group, Nokia, and Bosch. The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Rail Transport

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of connected rail transport devices which will grow from 2.3 million in 2022 to 3.7 million in 2032.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the rail transport application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Rail Transport Application Group will grow at a CAGR of 5%.

  • A1 Digital
  • Bosch
  • Cisco
  • ClearBlade
  • Eurowagon
  • Klas Group
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
  • Nexxiot
  • Nokia
  • OUTFRONT Media
  • Rail Cargo Austria AG
  • Siemens
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
    • Transportation & Storage