Locomotives are powered rail transport vehicles which provide motive power to trains with no payload capacity, and their only use is to pull the trains along tracks. However, nowadays push-pull operations have become common, in which the trains have locomotives at the rear, front, or at both the ends. Electric locomotives are preferred since, they deliver high performance, lower maintenance cost, and lower energy costs and reduced pollution levels.
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Increase in urbanization, environmental sustainability, and a broad spectrum of impending rail projects, growth in demand for energy efficient rolling stock, and an expanding infrastructure of rail networks are the major factors driving the locomotives market. The extensive rail networks globally further supporting the growth of electric locomotives to meet the demand as a public transport. In addition, technological progress such as launch of the SiC module, IGBT module and the auxiliary power units has resulted in a surging demand for locomotive engines. This progress has reduced the emission level, escalated the fuel efficiency, and lowered overall weight. This has led to a reducing power loss when switching the current state.
However, there are certain restraining factors which are impeding the growth in the global locomotives market. Capital intensiveness of rolling stock, high maintenance cost, and overhaul cost are the key restraining factors hampering the growth of the market. In spite of these market challenges, the global market is expected to grow at a decent rate in the coming years. Increase in mining and industrial activities coupled with technological advancement in the field of SiC inverters will further drive the growth of the locomotives market.
The global locomotives market is segmented on the basis of motive power, power conversion component, technology, end use, operational engine, wheel arrangement, and regions. On the basis of motive power, the market is segmented into steam, diesel, gasoline, electric, hybrid, steam diesel hybrid, fuel cell electric, atomic electric, and gas turbine electric. Motive power is a natural agent such as water, steam, electricity, and wind which helps in imparting motion to the engine of a locomotive. The diesel locomotives are further classified into early oil locomotive engines, first true diesel engines, modern diesel engines, and slugs or drones. Besides, the market is segregated based on power conversion component into rectifier, traction, inverter, alternator, and auxiliary power conversion unit. Some of the functions of power conversion components include, conversion of electric energy from one form of energy, adjusting voltage frequency and converting alternate current to direct current.
Moreover, based on technology, the market is categorized into GTO thyristor module, IGBT power module, and SiC power module. Gate Turn-Off Thyristor module is a high powered semi-conductor device, while IGBT power modules are found in traction invertors. SiC module or silicon carbide module are used as oil additives to reduce friction, and emissions. Furthermore, the market is divided on the basis of end use into passenger, freight, and shunting or switcher locomotives.
Additionally, on the basis of operational engine, the market segments are train engine, banking engine, pilot engine, station pilot, and light engine. The market is further segmented based on wheel arrangement into AAR, Whyte notation systems, and UIC classification. Wheel arrangement is a system for classifying the distribution of wheels of a locomotive. Since the wheels of a locomotive are optimized for different use, they form an integral part in the functioning of the locomotive system.
Based on geography the locomotive market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America. Asia Pacific is expected to hold the largest market share. It is also the fastest growing region.
Some of the leading companies operating in this market are, Hitachi Ltd. (Japan), Siemens AG (Germany), CSR Corporation (China), Bombardier Transportation (Canada), Alstom SA (France), and AEG Power Solutions (Germany).