voestalpine is a global and European market leader for rail and turnout technology. Spurred on by the current worldwide revival of the rail sector, major international orders are continually coming in.
Heavy investments are currently being made in the railroad infrastructure worldwide. The USA, which together with Canada operates the world’s second largest railroad network (the largest is in Europe), is currently experiencing a boom in this area. In the next four years, around USD 300 billion from the Highway Trust Fund is to be invested in the US transport and traffic network. Promising transit expansion projects in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and also in Toronto, Canada, offer a lot of potential for the future.
Southeast Asia as attractive market environment
Through a joint venture with a local partner in China, the voestalpine Group has a market share of around 30 percent in the high-speed sector. The Chinese high-speed network will be expanded by around 10,000 km by 2020.
Taiwan and South Korea are also attractive markets for railway technology. voestalpine has delivered more than 1000 turnouts to Taiwan, and two other major projects are in the acquisition phase. South Korea is estimated to have a potential of up to EUR 100 million by 2020. A project for the 2018 Olympic winter games is now in preparation.
In India, there is significant building potential in the turnout segment because a mandatory legal requirement was introduced several years ago stating that cities with a population of more than two million have to build a metro. Six Indian metros already rely on Austrian railway know-how, and the ongoing expansion phases of these metros represents stable utilization potential for the coming decades. In all, from 2002 to 2015, around 1200 turnouts and more than 1000 km of heat-treated high-speed rails were delivered to the Indian metro system.
voestalpine railway know-how also in demand “down under”
Australia, with a railway network of around 40,000 kilometers, is the seventh largest railway infrastructure market in the world. Iron ore is mainly mined in the northwestern part of the country, and on the east coast, coal is mined for the overseas market. The raw materials are transported to the shipping ports by railway. These trains are the heaviest in the world: with an axle load of more than 40 tons and a length of up to 2.5 km, the rail renewal requirements are enormous.
In addition to the heavy haul sector, the grooved rail business in Australia is also very important. For more than 10 years, voestalpine has been exclusively supplying the largest tram operation in the world – Yarra Trams in Melbourne – with around 1000 tons of grooved rails per year. The design of these head-hardened rails is unique worldwide.
The voestalpine Group is also widening its global leadership in the railroad infrastructure sector and has acquired the Australian company Bathurst Rail Fabrication Center (BRFC), a railway system specialist. With its turnout and rail welding plant, the BRFC is the main railway competence center for Sydney Trains, which operates most of the railway networks in the Australian state of New South Wales.