The first-ever global report “Future of Rail” prepared by IEA

Published: February 2, 2019

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has prepared the report titled ‘The Future of Rail’ in association with the International Union of Railways (UIC). This first-ever global report has a specific focus on India, where rail passenger traffic increased by nearly 200% since 2000. The report stated that Indian railways will account for nearly 40% of total global rail activity by 2050. The investments in Indian urban rail infrastructure are estimated to reach nearly $190bn by 2050. As a result, India can save up to $64bn on fuel expenses by that time. The IAEA report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications. As per the report, the rail sector carries 8% of the world’s passengers and 7% of global freight transport but it utilises only 2% of total transport energy demand. The regions with the highest share of electric train activity are Europe, Japan and Russia, while North and South America still rely heavily on diesel. Most conventional rail networks are located in North America, Europe, China, Russia, India, and Japan.