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Railway R&D statistics

Analyses of 2008 figures at EU level, show transport sector as the largest industrial R&D investor, with an investment volume of EUR 43.6 billion. Out of the amount, only  EUR 1.2 billion represent R&D investment in the railway sector.

The market of rail transport equipment is highly concentrated, with Alstom, Siemens, Bombardier, GE and Hitachi as strong competitors. The R&D investments of the 18 largest EU-based rail equipment manufacturers and suppliers reached  € 930 million in 2008. The R&D intensity of railway sector is 3.9%, close to waterborne sector (3.2%) and also commercial vehicles manufacturing segment (3.73%).

Approximately, 20% of the R&D research in railways is dedicated to technologies that reduce emissions of GHG, funding being provided both by public and private investors*.

Think Railways gathered information and posted a visualisation of the railway R&D data.

*GHG-TransPoRD, Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions of transport beyond 2020: linking R&D, transportpolicies and reduction targets

B61 RAILWAYS classification by Wipo


European Inventor Award 2013
Winner of the Popular Prize, Making train travel safe and comfortable Inventor
Mr. José Luis López Gómez
Company: Patentes Talgo

topThe winner of the Popular Prize was José Luis López Gómez (Spain), whose invention to use a unique ‘independent guided’ wheel design rather than a standard axle on high-speed passenger trains makes those trains some of the most comfortable and safe in the industry.

The technology uses an electronic system to calculate precisely the position of a train’s wheels on the track and a mechanical system to place these wheels in their optimal position when the train rounds a curve. The electronic system monitors the speed at which the wheels are rotating. Due to the wheels’ slightly conical shape and the difference in length between the inner and outer tracks on a curved section of track, the system can determine the wheels’ exact contact point. Pneumatic struts attached to the wheels then move the wheels to the best position.

Societal benefit

The technology is part of a long list of enhancements – many developed by José Luis López Gómez – that make traveling aboard Talgo trains conformable and safe. The invention is particularly important during the moments when trains exit and enter turns and is a significant advance over competing technologies.

Economic benefit

Innovations developed by José Luis López Gómez among the key factors that have enabled Patentes Talgo to become one of the top manufacturers of high-speed trains worldwide, with an extensive network In Spain and projects in several other countries.

More information about the invention http://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2013/gomez/feature.html

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