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State of Design & Make 2024 Special Edition

Spotlight on Rail

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2x both rail passenger and freight activity
is set to more than double by 2050

Navigating the rail industry’s toughest challenges: perspectives from leaders and experts

Global demand for rail is growing fast: passenger and freight activity are set to more than double by 2050. That’s no surprise, considering many countries want to achieve net-zero goals despite the fact that our population will increase by nearly two billion in the next 30 years.  For many governments, a solution to this growing problem is rail. Rail can provide large urban communities with safe, easy transportation that they’re already familiar with—all while involving up to 80% lower carbon emissions than flying.

Investments are already reflecting this shift. Governments around the world are planning to create new networks and redesign and update historic lines to better support modern society’s needs. The United States, for instance, has announced $1.4 billion in infrastructure funding for 70 rail improvement projects. India’s government has announced $32.7 billion for rail in its national budget. And the EU has made €25.8 billion available for grants to co-fund projects, including high-speed railways across member states.

For organizations in the rail industry, this means the pipeline of work is healthier than ever. But a shortage of skilled talent has contributed to a major need for better workflows and methods to deliver the growing number of projects efficiently.

To learn how rail organizations are tackling these challenges, Autodesk interviewed 30 rail industry leaders and experts from across the globe during its recent Rail Summit industry event in Amsterdam. Together with insights gathered from Autodesk’s 2024 State of Design & Make report, this special edition will share more about the actions they are taking to prepare for the future via digital transformation.


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