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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI6277
  • Pages :160
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Smart Technologies

The global simulated train market size is expected to value at US$ 4.40 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 14.69 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8% from 2023 to 2030. Simulated train technology refers to systems that mimic the operations and feel of real trains for purposes of training or entertainment, without needing to be on a real track. Key advantages of simulated trains include lower costs compared to real train systems, ability to customize and control the experience, and safety. Major drivers of the market include rising adoption of simulation technology for training in the railway industry, demand for advanced train driving simulators, and the need to optimize training costs.

The simulated train market is segmented based on component, simulator type, and region. By component, the market is segmented into hardware, software, and services. The hardware segment accounts for the largest share due to the increasing adoption of immersive simulation hardware for realistic training.

Simulated Train Market Regional Insights

  • North America is expected to be the largest market for simulated trains during the forecast period, which accounted for over 40% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to the early adoption of simulation technology and the presence of leading simulator manufacturers in the region.
  • Europe is expected to be the second-largest market for simulated trains, which accounted for over 30% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to stringent train operator training requirements and increasing focus on the optimization of training costs.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market for simulated trains, growing at a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to the growing railway infrastructure and rising adoption of simulation-based training by railway operators in emerging economies.

Figure 1. Global Simulated Train Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Analyst’s Viewpoint:

The global simulated train market is poised to grow significantly over the next decade driven by increasing adoption of virtual training techniques across majority of train operators worldwide. Train simulators help in standardizing driver skills and assessing performance in a risk-free virtual environment. This is expected to boost market expansion. However, high initial costs associated with the procurement and setup of advanced simulators may hinder small operators from investing in the near-term. Europe slightly dominates the global Simulated Train market owing to strong presence of leading simulator vendors and favorable regulations mandating periodic refresher courses for train drivers using simulations. Meanwhile, the North America region is likely to emerge as the fastest growing regional market given the rising passenger and freight traffic. Asia Pacific is also seen as a major lucrative market supported by ongoing technology advancements and replacement of aging driver training modules. While high setup investments remain a challenge for some, the simulated train market has robust opportunities globally driven by the safety and efficiency benefits of virtual training solutions. Focus on modernization of rail networks worldwide will continue aiding revenues for technology providers in this Market.

Simulated Train Market Drivers:

  • Increasing emphasis on safety in railways: The railway industry across the globe has increasingly been focusing on enhancing passenger safety over the past few years. The increasing emphasis on enhanced operator skill development to mitigate catastrophic train accidents has prompted the adoption of advanced simulated training techniques, offering immersive virtual environments where drivers and engineers can safely learn and practice real-life operational scenarios. For instance, Federal Railroad Administration in the U.S. has recommended increasing simulated training hours for locomotives and other on-track equipment operators as per their strategic plan for fiscal years 2020-2023. This is expected to cut down accidents arising from human factors by nearly 30% over the next few years. Leading rail companies are making significant investments in procuring full-scale, multi-role simulators to train new recruits as well as re-skill existing staff virtually. This is positively impacting the market size and is expected to boost the growth trajectory over the coming years.
  • Growing adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality: The rapid advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are fueling the rise of the global simulated train market. Several train operators and manufacturers are leveraging VR/AR to simulate different situations for training new recruits on how to handle emergencies like evacuation during accidents, natural disasters, technical failures etc. For example, operators like Indian Railways deployed VR-based simulations at various training academies to prepare loco pilots and guards to efficiently respond to unforeseen conditions. Emerging areas like hyper loop, high-speed maglev trains would especially benefit through simulated pilot training programs to ensure safety of new transport modes. This rising focus on competency building through virtual simulations prior to live operations will continue fueling opportunities for VR/AR companies in the global simulated train market.
  • Rapid expansion of metro rail networks: Rapid expansion of metro rail networks around the world is one of the key factors fueling the growth of the global simulated train market. As more and more cities are investing in developing their metro connectivity to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, the need for training metro drivers and operators is growing exponentially. Trainees can learn techniques like operating train controls, responding to different scenarios on tracks, handling emergency situations, and more in an immersive virtual setup. This helps train qualified drivers and operators much faster than conventional training methods. For an instance, India was a major contributor - the ministry of housing and urban affairs announced expansion plans for over 700 additional kilometers of metro routes across various cities between 2022 and 2023. Rapid infrastructure growth of metro networks driven by global urbanization is fueling the demand for simulated train systems that offer cost-effective, safe hands-on training solutions for metro operators and drivers worldwide. This factors in significantly to the consistent growth projections estimated for this specialized market.
  • Increasing R&D focus on simulated training: Leading technology firms and rail industry bodies are ramping up R&D efforts aimed at making train simulation systems more sophisticated, flexible, and true to real-world conditions. Companies are collaborating with universities and research centers on simulation innovations leveraging computing advancements. The introduction of solutions like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and predictive analytics is enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of train simulation technologies. With the rapid advancements in technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, there is more focus on developing highly immersive and effective simulated training programs across industries. Traditional instructor-led training methods are being supplemented with simulated training which allows gathering hands-on experience without any safety risks. For example, pilot training programs are increasingly using full-flight simulators to replicate real-world conditions and emergencies. This helps trainee’s gain experience by practicing man oeuvres and handling complex scenarios virtually before actual flights.

Simulated Train Market Opportunities:

  • Leveraging big data analytics and AI: The global simulated train market has great potential to utilize big data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to create immersive training experiences. Simulated train systems powered by real-time big data integration and AI capabilities can help train personnel gain experiential learning. AI agents can emulate realistic passenger behavior and reactions. Analytics of simulation results can provide deeply personalized feedback to help improve specific skills. As per the literature review of artificial intelligence applications in railway systems published in 2022, being at an early development stage in most railway subdomains, is attracting an increasing interest, and therefore it can be easily expected that more focus on AI-based research will characterize the future of railway engineering, planning, and management. Integrating advanced data and AI further holds promise to make global simulated train learning more effective and help industries better prepare for the transportation trends of tomorrow.
  • Developing multipurpose simulation platforms: Converging various rail simulation capabilities into unified multi domain platforms presents an excellent opportunity. A single simulator able to recreate diverse scenarios from driving, signaling, traffic control, etc. will improve training versatility while reducing costs. Building flexible platforms with ability to simulate local conditions can help expand adoption across emerging markets. Modular designs will also enable seamless expansion as technologies evolve. As per data from the World Bank, cities across Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America are experiencing unprecedented rates of urbanization, with millions of people migrating annually within countries for better livelihoods. By 2030, 60% of the global population is projected to live in urban conglomerations. Rapid urbanization continues globally, the demand for strategic transportation simulations will rise steadily in the coming years. Comprehensive multipurpose platforms have strong growth prospects in an increasingly complex mobility landscape characterized by unprecedented connectivity. Their ability to save costs while optimizing designs makes them an invaluable strategic investment for authorities and a huge untapped opportunity for simulated training market players.
  • Simulation for autonomous railway system testing: Autonomous train operation is an emerging application area where simulation environments will be indispensable. Real-world testing of driverless trains involves massive complexities. Simulation systems that replicate autonomous platforms' performance under diverse conditions offer a viable alternative. High-fidelity testing in a virtual environment can validate functionality, safety, and reliability before live deployment. For instance, in October 2021, Deutsche Bahn AG, a Germany-based railway company, and Siemens Mobility, a Germany-based provider of sustainable and efficient transport solutions, launched an automated, driverless train. The driver stays aboard to oversee the voyage while the passengers are on board. The emergence of autonomous trains aligns perfectly with the capabilities train simulation provides. It promises to significantly expand an already growing market by driving both demand and investment in immersive simulation solutions across every region pursuing rail autonomy.

Simulated Train Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 4.40 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 18.8% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 14.69 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Component:
    • Hardware: Simulators, Panels/Consoles, Monitors, and Others
    • Software: On-premise and Cloud-based
    • Services: Integration, Maintenance, and Support
  • By Simulator Type: Driving Simulators, Signal Simulators, Traffic Simulators, Disaster Simulators, and Others
Companies covered:

Johnson & Johnson (DePuy Synthes), Medtronic plc, Stryker Corporation, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., Smith & Nephew plc, NuVasive, Inc., Globus Medical, Inc., Wright Medical Group N.V., Arthrex, Inc., DJO Global, Inc., Össur hf., CONMED Corporation, Breg, Inc., Orthofix Medical Inc., Bioventus LLC

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing emphasis on safety in railways
  • Growing adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality
  • Rapid expansion of metro rail networks
  • Increasing R&D focus on simulated training
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High development and deployment costs
  • Requirement for specialized infrastructure
  • Extensive customization requirements

Simulated Train Market Trends:

  • Growing integration with third-party simulation software: Leading simulation technology firms are actively forging partnerships to enable integration of their train simulators with third-party physics software like NVidia PhysX, Unreal Engine, etc. This allows leveraging superior environmental effects, terrain detail, particle systems. Integrated solutions provide far more realistic visuals, enhancing immersion during simulated training. For instance, Deutche Bahn, the largest European rail operator, integrated several third-party simulation software while designing their new ICE high-speed trains launched in 2020. This Collaborative efforts helps to integrate specialized simulation engines, aiding engineers in proactively identifying and addressing issues related to driver visibility, seat ergonomics, and luggage storage. This approach allows for efficient problem-solving in advance, eliminating the need to wait for physical prototypes.
  • Cloud-based delivery models gaining ground: Cloud-hosted simulation solutions are gaining prominence over traditional on-premise models for their flexibility, scalability, and lower total cost of ownership. Leading providers are offering train simulators on SaaS models, enabling usage-based pricing. For instance, in 2021 Transport for London migrated its operations systems supporting over ground metro lines to the public cloud. This enabled remote monitoring and management of train schedules, routing, and performance analytics from any location. Cloud simulation technology also facilitates remote learning. The availability of high-speed connectivity is a key factor accelerating adoption of cloud-hosted simulated training across regions.
  • Growing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and ML techniques are being incorporated into train simulation systems to create more adaptive and intelligent learning experiences. AI agents can analyze trainee behavior and provide personalized feedback. ML algorithms help enhance simulator fidelity over time by incorporating real-world operational data. AI can also generate novel situations to build skills. Advancements in AI and ML will enable train simulators to deliver smarter, more targeted training. For instance, in December 2023 as per Appenventiv, AI-powered predictive analytics enables railway operators to anticipate potential failures, optimize maintenance schedules, and ensure uninterrupted train operations which is transforming railways with AI-powered predictive analytics and maintenance
  • Increasing deployment across entertainment sector: The application of train simulation technologies for public entertainment is rising. Simulators with high-fidelity visuals and motion systems are being deployed across amusement parks, exhibition centers, and similar venues. Entertainment-focused train simulators prioritize immersive experiences for patrons over training capabilities. As per the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions whitepaper published in November 2022, over 50% of theme parks surveyed cited expanded simulated experiences like train rides as a key focus area over the next 3 years to boost footfall. Given the entertainment sector continues to grow annually at over 5% according to UNWTO data for 2022, this emerging trend of simulated train integration is poised to substantially increase revenues for simulated train market players in the coming years. Turnkey simulated train ride solutions for entertainment are gaining traction globally.

Simulated Train Market Restraints:

  • High development and deployment costs: Sophisticated train simulation systems require large upfront investments in hardware and software technologies. Significant costs are also associated with integrating simulators with existing infrastructure. Smaller metro rail operators and training centers often find procuring advanced simulation technologies financially challenging. Declining budgets can impact adoption unless providers introduce more cost-effective solutions. Focus on key areas of research and development that offer the highest return on investment. Prioritize features and technologies that meet the most urgent market needs or that can generate income more quickly to offset costs.
  • Requirement for specialized infrastructure: Running train simulators requires dedicated infrastructure including space, electricity, cooling, etc., which adds to costs. Simulation equipment contains complex components that necessitate specialized facilities for installation and maintenance. The need for custom infrastructure can make deployment difficult for smaller organizations or those with space constraints. This hinders wider adoption across segments like educational institutions. Train simulators require high-fidelity motion platforms and sophisticated visual systems to provide immersive and realistic training experience. This poses significant barrier for the widespread adoption of train simulators especially in regions with rapidly expanding metro and suburban rail networks.
  • Extensive customization requirements: While simulated environments offer more flexibility than physical facilities, customizing them to replicate region-specific conditions still requires considerable effort. Factors like local signaling systems, languages, terrain and railway assets need adaptation. The complexity of tailoring global simulator products to local needs can hamper adoption if providers lack strong regional support channels. Developing realistic train simulators involve modeling very specific track routes, stations, signaling systems and locomotives or trains that are used in different parts of the world. This requires train simulator developers to spend significant time and resources to understand the local operating conditions and customize the software accordingly. The need to customize for each new customer increases the per-project costs and turns what would otherwise be a bulk product into a highly customized solution. This makes the business model less scalable. Create a set of standard components that can be customized easily. This approach allows a company to offer customization while maintaining economies of scale in manufacturing.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In March 2021, Simutech Multimedia, a developer of simulation-based electrical troubleshooting training software, launched the Siumultech Ultimate immersive train simulator with 8K visuals and real-world physics. It provides hyperrealistic training for operators.
  • In January 2022, CM Labs, developer of the Vortex simulation platform, released Vortex Simulator version 2022A with enhanced locomotive modeling for more accurate virtual training
  • In June 2020, ETC-PZL Aerospace Industries, a provider of virtual solutions, launched the PZL-050 flight simulator for helicopter pilot training featuring high-fidelity visuals

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In October 2021, Alstom, transit engineering design and construction firm, acquired B&C Transit, a leading player in train simulators and e-learning for the North American market. This expanded Alstom’s simulation portfolio.
  • In July 2020, Siemens, a German multinational technology conglomerate, partnered with CM Labs to integrate the Vortex Studio simulator with Siemens training solutions for more immersive operator experiences
  • In March 2019, Thales, a manufactures electrical systems, has acquired Guavus, a real-time AI analytics company, to strengthen its railway operations simulation and analytics offerings

Figure 2. Global Simulated Train Market Share (%), by Simulator Type, 2023


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Top Companies in the Simulated Train Market

  • Bombardier Transportation
  • Thomson
  • CRRC
  • Altran
  • EADS
  • SkyWorks
  • Siemens
  • Alstom
  • Thales
  • Bosch Rexroth
  • Aveva
  • CM Labs
  • Cruden
  • ETC-PZL Aerospace Industries
  • Guangzhou Zurui Electrical Equipment

Definition: The simulated train market refers to the industry and companies involved in developing hardware, software, and services for train simulation systems. These advanced simulation technologies are used for purposes such as operator training, railway research, and public entertainment. The train simulation market has gained rapid traction globally due to rising emphasis on safety and training in the railway industry. Leading vendors offer sophisticated train simulators with features such as high-fidelity visuals, real-world physics modeling, and data analytics. Key end users of these simulators include railway operators, training institutions, and the entertainment sector. The growing adoption of virtual reality and artificial intelligence is expected to further drive innovations in the simulated train market.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Simulated Train Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18.8% from 2023 to 2030.

Key drivers include rising emphasis on safety, growing adoption of simulation technology for training, need for reducing training costs.

The hardware segment accounts for the largest share in the Simulated Train Market.

Johnson & Johnson (DePuy Synthes), Medtronic plc, Stryker Corporation, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., Smith & Nephew plc, NuVasive, Inc., Globus Medical, Inc., Wright Medical Group N.V., Arthrex, Inc., DJO Global, Inc., Össur hf., CONMED Corporation, Breg, Inc., Orthofix Medical Inc., Bioventus LLC

North America is expected to dominate the Simulated Train Market during the forecast period.

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