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"The trains for the Cologne light railways and trams come from Austria, as do security and control technology for New York City and the frequently used IFE doors of trains.With 41 patents per million inhabitants, the Austrian rail industry is in first place in international patent statistics in the area of rail and railways.The export rate of Austrian businesses is over 60 per cent."

Rail systems are increasingly frequently the first choice in means of transport, in particular when it comes to the intercontinental transport of goods and inner-city rail transport solutions. Whether it is a high-speed train, suburban railway, trams or goods train, rail is an important pillar in day-to-day transport. Rail systems are already now a key element for sustainable transport concepts, a trend that will become even stronger in future.

The Austrian rail transport industry builds on a long tradition; that is the basis of its know-how. Austrian companies deal with passenger and goods transport, safety and control technology (traffic light technology, mobile communication, control systems) and with light rails for urban spaces. These include suburban railways, trams and underground railways.

Enhanced portfolio

The portfolio of rail transport also encompasses entirely new areas and is highly innovative. In addition to the traditional areas, mostly operational subsidiaries serve new segments such as cargo, logistics, tourism, planning, project planning, environmental compatibility and international collaboration. 

The supplier industry of rail transport includes the production of mechanical systems (drives, locomotives, railcars), plants and systems for rail operation, rail, superstructure and substructure construction, railway stations, warehouse and logistics terminals, environmental and safety technology as well as IT solutions.

Light rail as a highlight

Trams that ceased operation decades ago are undergoing a revival. For instance, twenty towns and cities in France are opting for trams again. The Austrian contribution to light rail for urban areas and to control and safety technology is acknowledged across the world. Whether it involves fire-resistant rubber elements, aluminium oxide for braking and driving off or special feeder ears: Austrian companies are fundamentally involved in the future trend of light rail.


The Austrian rail industry is particularly strong and innovative in an international comparison. When it comes to concentration of inventors, Austria holds a top position in this area and has the highest research and development investments per inhabitant in rail vehicle transport.

Investments are being made to ensure the highest quality and in the technology of the future. Rail-borne traffic has the advantage of lower energy consumption and rail transport makes a fundamental contribution to reducing global CO2 emissions.

Another topic affecting the industry is autonomous driving. Here too, the Austrian rail transport industry has its finger on the pulse. And the digitalisation of the control system is another field of development for the future.

Last update : 2023-04-03