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Challenges in rail vehicle design.

Railways play an important role in public and freight transport around the world. As a constantly evolving sector, it is adapting to changing challenges and needs. These affect the design of rail vehicles and increasing durability, comfort, and safety.

Railways are one of the key components of the global transport system. However, in order to meet growing expectations in terms of efficiency, safety, and passenger comfort, the sector needs to continuously evolve and adapt to new challenges. What are these challenges? How does Endego contribute to customers’ success in addressing them? Robert Kordus – Team Manager, Competence Centre Exterior at Endego – will answer these and other questions.


From this article, you will learn:

  • What challenges do rail vehicle designers face;
  • What factors influence the design of rail vehicles;
  • What is the difference between designing rail vehicles and designing for the automotive sector;
  • How Endego is tackling today’s rail challenges with its customers.

Challenges of modern railways

The railways are an important link in the global transport system and have a significant impact on economic and social development. In Poland, the sector faces a number of challenges, including increased demand for sustainable transport, the need to modernise infrastructure, and the need to adapt to new safety and efficiency standards. Designing modern railway vehicles is a task full of specific challenges. To meet the expectations of the rail market, designers must adhere to strict standards, provide solutions that meet a range of durability requirements, provide customised equipment, and maintain high design standards. What factors are crucial to the vehicle design process for the railway? What do designs for railways have in common, and what distinguishes them from those for the automotive industry?

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1. Strength and equipment

Extremely stringent durability and safety requirements must be met in the design of railway vehicles. Railway cars often serve for 40-50 years and are still in service for another two decades after conversion. The technologies and materials used in the automotive industry are not always sufficient in this context.

Rail infrastructure
Rail transport
Modern railway technology
Railway safety

2. Production technology

As with cars, a key element of rail vehicle design is technology. However, the nature of rail vehicle production differs significantly from automotive standards. In rail, vehicles are not mass-produced, but manufactured individually or in small batches. This means that specialised manufacturing techniques have to be used, which often differ from those used in the automotive industry.

3. High customer requirements

Rail vehicles not only have to be durable and safe, they also have to meet customer expectations in terms of design. Customers express their preferences in terms of shape, colours, and materials, and these requirements can be much more detailed than in the automotive industry. Due to high costs and low-volume production, there is not as much freedom as in the automotive industry. The customer has clearly defined requirements and, as a result, the designers must tailor the vehicles precisely to their specifications.

Rail infrastructure
Rail transport
Modern railway technology
Railway safety

4. Safety standards

An important aspect of railway vehicle design is safety standards. Trams and trains carry tens of thousands of people every day, so there is pressure to design super-safe vehicles. Strict standards specify, among other things, structural strength, fire resistance, and restrictions on the materials used in production.

5. Passenger comfort

Modern trains must also be more passenger-friendly. Travel comfort, Wi-Fi availability, air conditioning, and passenger safety are all elements that make rail competitive with other modes of transport.

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Endego – innovative solutions in rail vehicle design

Endego meets these challenges by offering innovative solutions in the field of rail vehicle design. Our engineers and designers are aware of the current challenges in the rail sector and are therefore constantly striving to create ever-better solutions.  Our remit includes the design and development of key components that have a significant impact on the functionality, performance, and aesthetics of railway vehicles. Our full focus is on providing bespoke solutions based on rail industry guidelines and standards. We invite you to contact us. Our innovative solutions, demonstrating our competence in railway vehicle design, are discussed in an article dedicated to examples of Endego’s rail projects and the company’s readiness for the future.

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