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Rail Mobility 4.0: Rolling stock as the key to meeting the challenges of rail

Expleo is supporting the rail industry, particularly rolling stock, in facing the challenges of mobility 4.0 by combining in-depth knowledge of the rail industry with significant R&D and digital expertise. Marc Siméon, Rolling Stock Domain leader at Expleo, shares his vision for rolling stock.
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Owing to its comparatively low impact on the environment, rail will be a strategic tool in the transport industry’s efforts to achieve the climate objectives of worldwide governments. In fact, The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects passenger and freight activity to more than double by 2050.

Trains have a vital role to play in society too, opening up new territories while offering everyone the opportunity to travel, especially in the absence of cars.

We at Expleo are supporting the key players in rolling stock as they meet the challenges of this sector. 

Cleaner, less polluting trains for tomorrow

Rail is one of the cleanest available modes of mass transport. While it carries 8% of the world’s passengers and 7% of the world’s freight, it represents just 2% of the total energy demand for transport. Again, according to the IEA, three-quarters of passenger rail transport is now provided by electric trains, that’s an increase of 60% since 2000 – the rail sector is the sole mode of transport widely electrified today.

However, improvements are still necessary given that there are still many diesel-powered locomotives in use. Many of these are already underway or on the near horizon, such as: 

  • The transition to hydrogen: We support our clients in the transition to hydrogen (with the development of rolling stock, their equipment and installation) with our own training services in this new sector. 
  • Track electrification: We are continually building and deepening our expertise in this area to help our clients analyse aspects of track electrification and optimise infrastructures and create solutions that can be implemented at optimum cost.  
  • Reducing train weight: This makes it possible to increase rolling stock carrying capacity while reducing its stress on the rails – a good way of preserving tracks and nearby communities. With its Innovation Lab, Expleo is a source of ideas and suggestions for new solutions. It is also a player known for its joint development of disruptive solutions.
Rail Mobility Expleo

Enhanced passenger experience and comfort

The quality of passengers’ onboard experience and comfort is essential for ensuring their continued support. This means preventing the pitching and rolling of passengers, ensuring that they are comfortably seated, that they benefit from optimum Wi-Fi connectivity and can access all the information they need about timetables, rail connections etc. The operations intended to improve comfort include:

  • The development of global and user-friendly applications: Expleo, the partner of a railway operator of primary global importance, has for example helped to transfer and concentrate all its modules in a single unified mainstream application for greater convenience.
    In a broader context, Expleo lends its expertise to digital transformation, whether in terms of support for clients, the development of new information systems and applications, or for the purposes of cybersecurity – a fundamental issue, as the more we add digital systems to railways, the more the sector is at risk from cyber threats.
  • Integrated ticketing services: Our ticketing operations allow customers to use the same ticket on different networks and to pay for other services (swimming pools, leisure services etc.). These developments once again tightly integrated with considerations around system security and data protection.
  • Increasingly effective counting solutions: counting and optimising passenger flow makes it possible to ensure the optimum deployment of resources. Expleo develops counting solutions by means of its optimised sensors and innovative video/digital solutions. 
Railway 4.0 Expleo Digitalisation

Towards the optimisation of predictive maintenance

Things are changing in the world of maintenance too, making it possible to guarantee service quality (increased rate of train availability, fewer delays etc.). Our RAMS operations (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety) allow us to limit the maintenance time cycles in an ongoing commitment to product efficiency and respect for the passenger.

Expleo’s expertise in predictive maintenance enables its clients to reduce the cost of rolling stock servicing, the aim being to increase the amount of time between services while ensuring greater passenger safety. A smart approach to maintenance makes it possible to anticipate maintenance problems, minimise rolling stock downtime, avoid the loss of production time and reduce the cost of spare parts, supplies and labour.

Ultimately, it’s a virtuous circle because it also contributes to improving the passenger experience while allowing resources to be allocated more effectively. 

Expleo Railway 4.0 Augmented Reality

Expleo: Expertise to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow

Thanks to its robust inhouse teams and the essential skills which they possess, Expleo can offer wide-ranging expertise to help rolling stock manufacturers. In particular, our skills in this area include guidance throughout the rolling stock’s lifecycle, from design and construction through testing and commissioning, with total client support.

Our footprint and presence across varied competencies is supported by our capacity to develop our own resources and expertise through the Railway Institute.

Expleo can also capitalise on the knowledge and know-how it has acquired in other areas such as aeronautics or automotive to be able to offer appropriate and innovative solutions developed in leading sectors. 

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