Rail Freight in the Digital Age

What can rail freight companies expect in this digital age? Listen to the latest trends shared in this podcast hosted by Victor Becerra, Dassault Systèmes' Business Services Industry Value Expert and discover opportunities to advance into the digital future.

Cameron Collie > Rail Industry Expert > Dassault Systèmes®

All Aboard: The Digital Track for a Sustainable Future

Gain digital insights from the industry’s best to accelerate rail freight into the green future.

  • Leverage expert knowledge of the industry today
  • Adopt a proven game plan for the first-mover advantage
  • Replicate innovation successes and best practices from market leaders

For many rail freight companies, digital transformations present opportunities to maximize business returns and lead the climate change. From value-adding rail freight services and optimizing assets to automating and improving efficiencies, digital transformations unlock massive potential to support demands in doubling global transport activity by 2050 and reducing transport emission goals by 90%.

The Rail Deal for Future Freight

Contributing 30 times less CO2 emissions than other freight modes and eight times less air pollution, rail freight can powerfully redefine a smart and carbon-neutral future.

Rail outplays other modes of transportation when it comes to decarbonization. Digitalization can unite rail freight operations cohesively to lead this climate challenge.

Reinvent Efficiencies

Since operational efficiency correlates directly to its environmental sustainability impact, rail freight companies must urgently establish efficient operations across their business. Navigating today’s freight challenges with traditionally siloed systems and manual-based processes will overwhelm companies with inaccurate estimated time arrivals, slow updates and disorganized tracking of empty rail cars.

Digitalization can radically change this by:

  • Integrating across systems to optimize rolling stock, fleet management, predictive maintenance planning, control and signaling systems, and smart monitoring systems
  • Shortening cargo processing time to boost punctuality, rail freight demand and market competitiveness
  • Improving rail freight’s energy and fuel consumption to stay on track with global footprint reduction goals
  • Increasing autonomous train control opportunities, which reduce idle time, increase freight trips with fewer trains and lesser fuel consumption, and potentially lower operating expenses of cargo services by about 50%


Operate Sustainably

Rail freight can lower the climate impact with its high capacity and fuel efficiency. "In Australia, we run freight trains at about 1.5 to 1.8 kilometers in length. That's the equivalent of taking 200 BW semitrailers off the road," emphasized Cameron Collie, a Dassault Systèmes rail expert in Australia.
But going green in the rail freight industry can be incredibly complex and costly without the right digital platform.
With data integration and virtualization capabilities, companies can explore, model and test ways to cut emissions, achieve fuel efficiency, and explore battery-electric locomotive alternatives for their freight trains without incurring actual cost and down-time. The virtual twin capabilities further empower them to continuously align business initiatives to climate action strategies and regulations while ensuring a long-term positive, sustainable impact on the supply chain industry.

Optimize Workforce

Digitalization in the people management agenda could not have come at a better time. The increasing intricacies in planning short, mid and long term operations with the right crew resources must be addressed swiftly while keeping an eye on the rail crew's welfare and satisfaction. Digitalization simplifies this task.
Through real-time dynamic tabling with master roster dashboards on a digital platform, companies gain complete visibility into the day-to-day operations to curb the skilled workforce shortage challenge among the rail crew. A dynamic workforce scheduling system significantly increases accuracy in predicting demands for field workers, matching the right skill-sets to the tasks, automating maintenance tasks and crew allocation, and assessing performance. All of these lead to increased productivity, minimized errors and enhanced job satisfaction.

Lead Distinctly

Rail remains superior to all other modes of transportation for movement of equivalent volumes and distances. It records 98% fewer emissions than road, 95% fewer emissions than air and 84% fewer emissions than sea. A modal shift towards rail should be a key part of every country's journey towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Cameron Collie > Rail Industry Expert > Dassault Systèmes®
Cameron Collie
Rail Industry Expert, Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes' distinct advantage lies in its robust solutions powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform. The platform capitalizes on rail freight's low-carbon mobility merit to accelerate the modal shift to rail through integration and simulation capabilities. When integrated, companies can simulate effective solutions to mitigate daily disruptions, run efficient rail freight services, roll out sustainable initiatives and broaden network capacity to increase value service offerings for future business growth.
Along with a unique capability-based industry reference framework developed through 20 years of deep expertise, Dassault Systèmes is well-positioned to help companies lead a future-ready rail freight industry – by allowing them to reimagine tomorrow's clean, digital and innovative economy today.

Read more about our Rail Freight solutions

Dassault Systèmes delivers dedicated Business Services industry solution experiences based on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform to enable Rail Freight companies to tackle their challenges.