Robust Production of Rolling Stock Driving the Train Seat Material Market Globally

Introduction

Demand for train seats manufacturing materials such as foam, leather and fabric is expected to grow over the next eight years. This, in turn, is expected to influence the global market for train seat materials. Demand for fabric materials particularly has grown in the market as compared to other materials. These materials accounted for more than 68% share of the market last year. Seat manufacturers are rapidly shifting from vinyl to fabric, hence, it is most likely that demand for fabric materials will continue to grow higher over the next few years. While polyurethane is expected to be the most widely used foam type for seat cushioning. In 2015, polyurethane accounted for over 74% of the market share. However, introduction of advanced silicon foaming materials in the market is expected to impact the demand for polyurethane materials.

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Factors such as growing investments in the railway industry, expansion of metro cities, growing urbanization and increasing concerns over carbon emissions and energy wastage are expected to play a vital role in shaping the future of railway rolling stock manufacturing industry. The production of rolling stock has significantly surged over of the years and can be considered as a major factor influencing the global market for train seat materials. Moreover, in order to save travel time, governments in various countries across the globe are emphasizing on launching high-speed trains. Therefore, growing demand for high-speed trains is expected to fuel the demand for quality train seat materials.  In contrast, the hefty overall cost associated with the railway service industry including infrastructure, railway management and rolling stock may limit the demand for train seat materials. The railway industry is capital intensive and entails strong financial abutment, which poses a strong challenge for railway operators in making additional investments for upgrading services. Further, stringent regulatory norms associated with meeting the safety standards restricts the use of certain materials for manufacturing train seats.

Trends

In order to meet industry standards, train seat manufacturers are focusing on developing low cost and efficient products. In addition, companies are developing innovative technology to produce state-of-the-art train seating systems. The latest models of train seats are designed after conducting certain analytical studies such as understanding the density of commuters or travelers, luggage spacing requirement and travel duration.  For instance, Quantum Seating Ltd, which is a joint venture between GRM Consulting and Automotive Trim Developments (ATD), has recently launched some advanced seating models including M100 and H Series seating range. These models are thoroughly tested before being mounted in order to deliver top class safety and performance. Moreover, these seats are extremely light on weight cutting down on the extra load on the rolling stock.  The company in manufacturing for various types of railway compartments including first class, metro, and occasional seats. In addition, the range is also available with tables and armrest. The company is further offering custom made models for specific requirements. Railways operators are commissioning manufacturing companies that can offer innovative solutions.

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Conclusion

In 2015, the global market for train seat materials was valued at US$ 1,613.8 million and is estimated to witness a healthy growth rate in the upcoming years. Europe is the leading market for train seat materials, accounting for 35% share of the market in 2015. Demand for train seat materials in Europe is expected to be strong in the near future due to the robust production of rolling stock in the region. Leading manufacturers in the region are actively focusing on further development of their products in order to meet the mandatory safety standards.

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