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Increasing urbanisation, combined with the desire to reduce CO2 emissions, is leading states to invest massively in rail transport.

To increase the capacity of existing lines, railway operators are modernising the signalling systems (CBTC, ERTMS, etc.) as a priority.

At the same time, manufacturers are experimenting with hydrogen-powered trains to replace diesel-powered trains and thus decarbonise non-electrified lines.

Market Trends

Urban transport dynamicsLearn more

Urban transport dynamics: the world’s urban population is growing rapidly, concentrating 4.2 billion individuals in 2018 compared to 751 million in 1950 (UN number). Investments in the public transport sector are therefore increasing significantly in order to provide faster and more reliable intra-agglomeration and intercity transport solutions.

As a result of this demand, the annual growth of the world industrial rail market is estimated at 3.2% by 2021.


  • Increase the capacity of existing lines (CBTC, automated underground lines, etc.)
  • Develop international industrial competitiveness
  • Diversify and adapt the product offer to local markets (e.g. high speed in China)
Digital transformationLearn more

The integration of digital technologies in the rail sector will make it possible to manage increasingly complex traffic flows, ensure the interoperability of different transport models (smartcity) and improve safety and passenger comfort. At the same time, advances in predictive maintenance will improve equipment uptime and reduce maintenance costs.

The SNCF believes it can save 1.5 billion euros between 2015 and 2020 via industrial IoT.


  • Connect digital and IT skills (Big Data, Cloud, Cybersecurity…) to the specificities of the rail sector and its regulations
  • Ensure the security of critical data and systems and improve the available data processing
  • Integrate new transport solutions (electric bus, car sharing, etc.)
Modernization of infrastructuresLearn more

Massive urbanization, the need for interoperability between the various European countries in order to respond to the opening of competition, and the electrification of rail lines for carbon-free transport, require huge investments in the renovation and creation of new rail infrastructures.

By 2030, over 123,000 km of the European rail network will be equipped with the ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) signalling system. In France, 46 billion euros will be invested over 10 years in order to modernize and ensure rail network safety.


  • Ensure an increasingly stringent safety requirement (SIL4)
  • Supporting the upgrading of the rail network (ERTMS)
  • Anticipate technological obsolescence (e.g.: GSM-R vs LTE/5G)


850 rail engineers in 17 countries (Europe, America...)
in railway signalling (on-board systems, IVQ...) and rolling stock
IT skills & Networks (Agile, Big Data, AI, Cloud, Cybersecurity...)


Driverless metro line: development of the CBTC systemLearn more

To transport more travellers during peak times, the operator of a large international metropole entrusted our industrial customer with the automation of the busiest metro line in the network. ALTEN is helping to develop the key element, the CBTC signalling system.

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Industrialization of a new generation train in SwitzerlandLearn more

A new generation of double-decker high-speed train has been developed in Switzerland by a rail industry leader in order to meet the growing intercity traffic. ALTEN is assisting with the constructor’s various engineering activities on its sites in Zurich and Villeneuve by deploying teams of highly qualified engineers.

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Design and roll out of the ERTMS: a transnational processLearn more

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) must cover 50% of the European strategic network by 2023. Our customer has won several contracts within the framework of this major project and is supported by ALTEN with regard to the ramp-up of its ERTMS centre of excellence in Belgium.

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Railway electrification: engineering of IFTE infrastructuresLearn more

ALTEN is assisting a major European rail operator (over 15,000 km of lines in operation) with the design of new electrified lines to anticipate the increase in traffic and development of the rolling stock. Our engineering teams are working, in particular, on the electrical sizing, design (studies, project management, etc.) and operational assistance and maintenance of fixed electric traction installations.

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Rail industry

Bombardier Transport, Siemens Mobility, Alstom, Hitachi Group, Wabtec Corporation, Stadler Rail…

Rail transport

SNCF, RATP, Getlink…

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