The 5 challenges facing railways today



A global leading brand in the field of cable protection solutions, we’ve forged our good name and fantastic reputation initially from our work in the rail sector; providing versatile and reliable cable protection systems that keep the world’s railways running safely and efficiently, journey after journey.

Cable protection is an integral part of all railway networks; keeping cables safe and secure from all sorts of potentially harmful environments and situations, such as:

Extreme weather conditions


Extreme temperatures

General wear & tear

Unprotected railways are vulnerable to serious malfunctions which, in extreme cases, can lead to more than simple signal errors.

Although train crashes, derailments, and breakdowns are rare, they still do occasionally occur - a risk that becomes ever greater when a network’s cables aren’t protected or are inadequately protected, and a risk that, here at PMA, we work tirelessly to dramatically reduce with every conduit and application we create for this discerning industry.

New technologies and the world’s railways

Of course, there are many factors associated with ensuring railways keep passengers safe and trains running correctly; as technologies evolve, so too do our abilities to increase efficiency, speed, safety, and reliability.

But, arguably, it’s more than this as - over the last decade in particular - the rail industry has experienced a significant increase in demand for both passenger and freight trains, due to a number of differing factors.

This increase has naturally led to a set of new challenges facing the industry today, as well as a number of new opportunities, which all have to be met and overcome in realistic and achievable ways.

5 challenges facing railways that cable protection can help alleviate

So, in this light, what do we consider to be the 5 challenges facing railways today, and what can PMA do to alleviate these?

Maintenance & reliability: as more and more passengers use railways, and 24/7 services become increasingly popular, delays and malfunctions on these networks may also increase. Reliable cable protection, as mentioned above, serves to reduce the risk of any damage to cables, and the consequent damages associated.

Innovation & new products: as demand for the railways increases, so too does the demand for new technologies and innovative solutions; maximising efficiency and security, whilst ensuring trains not only run on time, but they run with grace and speed. Our Research & Development team are dedicated to innovation; regularly reviewing and updating the applications we’re able to offer, as demands change.

Associated costs: keeping costs down, particularly for the end user, is important for any industry and, although we have no control over many costs associated with the rail industry - such as the rising price of fuel - what we do have control over is keeping any unforeseen damages and malfunctions which may occur due to damaged or broken cables to a minimum, which will in turn lower these costs.

Durability: as demand for freight and passenger trains increases, so too does the physical demand on the railway lines themselves; increasing the need for durable cable protection that can withstand the physical strains of repeated use. All our products are tested beyond industry standard to ensure that, however high the demand, our applications protect those cables time and time again.

Withstanding extreme conditions: with the possibilities, capacities, and capabilities of the world’s railways so often challenged, so too are the environments these railways can endure; the Gothard Base Tunnel being a perfect example of this. Extreme and interchangeable conditions call for versatile protection that can easily withstand a multitude of extreme temperatures.

Although we can’t solve all of the challenges facing the rail industry today, we are doing our best to help towards solving the ones we can; working with the rail industry to create durable, reliable, solutions that are sure to keep railway cables safe from the increasing demands they are experiencing today.

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For help and advice on cable protection applications for ship building call the PMA team on 01264 333 527 or email lv.enquiries@gb.abb.com