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Train Travel: The Future of Passenger Transport

By Maite Ramos - Alsom Mexico
Manager Mexico


Maite Ramos By Maite Ramos | Manager Director - Wed, 06/07/2023 - 14:00

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Most industries today are experiencing a period of constant transformation, thanks to technological innovation that evolves at all times. The railway industry is no exception. 

In recent years, this form of transport has made important structural and technological improvements that have driven the creation of new inputs, fuels, and digital services to meet the needs of users. In the passenger transport industry in Mexico, 30.4 million people were transported by rail in 2021 alone. Since 2008, the figure has increased by 240.5%. These numbers are significant, and due to the great demand for rail transport, advances involving environmentally friendly technology have been put on track. 

One of the most important goals for ensuring a sustainable future is to achieve zero-emission mobility. A clear example of this is the Coradia iLint that is currently in circulation in Germany. It is the first passenger train in the world to run on a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electric power for propulsion. This train, manufactured by Alstom, offers several innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries, and intelligent management of motor energy; that is, it allows a clean operation of the train while maintaining high performance.  It is among the most sustainable transport options today and represents  an eventual step forward for countries, such as Mexico, that rapidly increase the daily use of this passenger transport service.

Railway Digitalization 

On the other hand, digitalization and cybersecurity seek to put people’s experiences in the foreground. In an increasingly connected and digital world, cybersecurity is an economic necessity that is vital to the continued health of any business. 

As the rail industry undergoes a transformation into a future where digital technology plays a vital role, it will need to make cyber issues a central part of its strategy. That is why the use of technologies such as big data is crucial for the collection of data generated by the passenger, trains, and own infrastructure through technological solutions like Nomad.

Nomad is a fleet management solution built on Alstom technology, integrating numerous boarding systems and isolated components, and providing real-time information on the performance of the entire fleet. The ability to provide up-to-date travel information, live news, weather, and location-specific information, whether directly on passenger devices or through boarding screens, can significantly improve a rail operator’s relationship with its passengers, especially as the use of this transport grows exponentially.

It also allows train operators to be more proactive in managing and developing their operational and maintenance regimes, using remote monitoring and reporting functionality and advanced data analysis.

Safeguarding the Future

Safety has always been the top priority for the railway sector, and now more than ever, it is essential to develop new solutions that go beyond expectations to respond to new challenges.

Global demographic changes, such as urbanization and the demand for greater comfort, must be balanced with the responsibility of operators to keep passengers moving safely during particular situations, such as COVID-19. 

During the pandemic, digital platforms were developed with intelligent solutions to maintain social distancing, passenger flow, and crowd control, as well as to facilitate the implementation of sanitation measures. These applications also helped to better implement surface cleaning treatments, the installation of non-contact interfaces, and to improve the performance of harmful pathogen filters inside vehicles.

In short, although the railway industry today has marked competition from other means of tourist and commercial transport, it is being modernized to target new customers who value a travel experience packed with history and that has transcended the barriers of time, even leaving its mark in the movies.

Photo by:   Maite Ramos

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