Redesigning Mobility of the Future – Trains 

As the Alstom celebrates World Sustainable Mobility Day, here’s a look at how Alstom is working towards building greener, cleaner transport solutions.


The sheer size and population of India make it uniquely positioned to act as a test bed for green transport solutions that work for the masses. Given the rate at which the cities in India are growing, sustainable mobility should now form part of the country’s focus on the natural environment and urban planning.

According to the World Bank, passenger traffic will exceed 80,000 billion passenger-kilometres—a fifty percent increase—and freight volume will grow by 70 percent globally by 2030 around the world and India is likely to command a large part of this pie.

Alstom on September 5, 2017 inaugurated Lucknow Metro – the first project in Uttar Pradesh. The Alstom-built metros are designed in Bengaluru and manufactured at Sri City and Coimbatore, supporting the Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Metro line is around 23 km long and covers 22 stations, of which 19 are elevated and 3 underground. The line is estimated to carry about 430,000 passengers per day at first, increasing to over 1 million by 2030.

Alstom believe that transport systems should be fluid, eco-friendly, safe, connected and accessible. In this regard, rail is certainly the cleanest mode of transport.”, Alstom says.

Rail transport uses only 2.1 percent of transport final energy and is responsible for just 3.6 percent of CO2 emissions in transport, while carrying 8 percent of the world’s passengers and freight[1].

In recent years, Alstom has worked very hard to enable rail to be one of the most energy-efficient transport modes, reflecting the efficiency of mass transport and the benefits of efficient electric traction. Their solutions have constantly reduced the energy consumption of their solutions. For example, the energy consumption of the Alstom-made Avelia high-speed train for AGV, Euroduplex and Liberty trains is 15-30% lower than previous generations.

The train features the latest generation of compact power, more efficient than those of previous generations, using less energy and offering more space for passengers inside the train. Alstom is working towards building the right environment and infrastructure readiness to bring these solutions to India.

Exhaust emissions from road transport contribute significantly to the poor air quality in large cities worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data released in 2016, more than 80 percent of people living in urban areas where air pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits[2].

Prioritising rail transport would significantly reduce the contribution of the transport sector to air pollution in cities.

Rail is also the most efficient transport mode in terms of use of space. Worldwide, road infrastructure uses 37 times more land than rail infrastructure while only carrying 3.5 times more transport units.[3]

For example, on average, on a track narrower than a bus lane, a tram or even a light weight metro provides two or three times higher transport capacity than a bus.

As a world leader in sustainable integrated railway systems, Alstom is working to reducing transport’s carbon footprint and constantly strive to reduce the high cost of energy. In recent years, Alstom has enabled a reduction in energy consumption of up to 20 percent on a wide range of its solutions: from components and technologies to infrastructure, trains and services, as well as on their fully integrated mobility solutions.

Further to this, Alstom has also made a conscious effort to favour recyclable materials in most of their trains by favouring water-soluble paints and biodegradable oils. End-of-life recycling by selecting riveting and bolting when assembling parts is also part of the granular process followed. As a result, Alstom’s trains are now 92% recyclable and 97% recoverable (including energy recovery) on average.

As the Southeast Asian demand for mobility is increasing, a move towards electric transport is vital for the optimisation of the transport sector’s contribution to environmental sustainability. Alstom is committed to developing and implementing sustainable technologies in India and Southeast Asia.

[1] Source : UIC

[2] analysis from the WHO Global Ambient (outdoor) air pollution database, now covering 3000 cities in 103 countries 

[3] Source: UIC

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