Railcar movers are specialized road-rail vehicles used to move railcars over short distances, usually to assemble them in yards or carry them on rail sidings. They have both road and rail wheels. The road tires are usually lifted up when railcar movers are used on rail tracks, but – due to the slow speed expected of railcar movers on railway tracks – the road tires can also be used on rail tracks, with the rail wheels guiding the vehicle. Railcar movers are becoming highly popular with train operators, since they perform the tasks of switcher locomotives at lower costs and with less fuel.
According to Transparency Market Research, a leading market intelligence company, the global railcar mover market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 1.02% from 2014 to 2020. The primary driver of the global railcar mover market is the increasing demand in emerging countries.
Indian, Chinese Railways Important for Future of Railcar Mover Market
China and India are the two most populous countries in the world and also possess two of the largest railway networks in the world, carrying billions of passengers every year. These two countries also possess two of the most dynamic economies in the world, which benefits public services such as railways and their associated industries, including railcar movers. As a result, these two countries feature prominently on the charts of the global railcar mover market.
These two countries have experienced rapid industrialization and urbanization in the last few decades, leading to expansion in national as well as suburban railway networks. With a daily ridership of more than 7.5 million, the Mumbai suburban railway network is among the largest in the world, while the Beijing Subway is the busiest metro system in the world, with daily ridership averaging close to 9.3 million. The Mumbai Suburban Railway also possesses one of the largest EMU car sheds in the world. The Shanghai Metro is the longest subway system in the world and has the second most number of stations, only bested by the New York City Subway. The presence of such major suburban systems is a major factor impacting the growth trajectory of the Asia Pacific railcar mover market.
The national railway systems in both India and China are also expanding, with both countries keen on expanding railway coverage in their Himalayan territories. This is another factor expected to boost the Asia Pacific railcar mover market in the coming years. The rising demand for tourist trains and luxury train travel is also expected to boost the railway networks in these two countries, indirectly propelling the railcar mover market. The Asia Pacific railcar mover market is expected to exhibit a CAGR significantly higher than that of the global market in the aforementioned forecast period – 1.33%.
North America Leads Railcar Mover Market due to Rising Commodities Transport
Currently, North America, propelled by the widespread railway coverage in the U.S. and Canada, leads the global railcar mover market. The rising production of unconventional oil and gas and other modern-day fuels in the U.S. is a major driver impacting the North America railcar mover market, since railways are a popular means of transporting large quantities of fuels from the source site to the refineries and further distribution centers.
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North America also leads the global railcar mover market in terms of R&D into railcar movers. The major attributes of railcar movers boosting their demand are their lower fuel consumption than conventional locomotives and versatility. Maximizing these attributes to make the most of railcar movers is the primary aim of R&D in this industry. The presence of major railcar mover manufacturers such as Shuttlewagon, Railking, and Trackmobile also aids the expansion of the North America railcar mover market.