Ahead of Asia Pacific Rail 2018, Jayaram Naidu, Vice President of Bombardier Transportation for Southeast Asia talks to us about how he sees the rail industry evolving in the region in the next five years.
How do you see the industry evolving in the next five years in Southeast Asia?
With an average annual economic growth rate of more than five percent and anticipated increasing population from 648 million today to 698 million by 2025 in the dynamic and diverse region, there is a great deal of focus on urban planning for megacities and the use of commuter corridors and this is resulting in an increasing demand for public transportation. With the recent interest in activities around the Southeast Asia railway network such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to construct more than 3000 kilometers of rail lines into some of the largest ASEAN supply chains, and the Kuala Lumpur (KL)-Singapore high-speed railway (HSR). Naturally, with projects of this scale, there will be challenges due to the involvement of multiple jurisdictions, geographical boundaries, different construction practices, financing and environmental concerns. For transportation companies, the focus will be on continuous development to provide sustainable rail solutions throughout the rail vehicle’s lifecycle combining attractive design with innovative and integrated systems to achieve optimal operational performance and reliable service for passengers.
What do you think are the key challenges facing the industry today?
Today’s challenges range from environmental modeling, rising operational and maintenance costs from ageing fleets, more complex modern transit system to manage, developing local rail expertise, and the challenges of cross-border railway networks, to meeting ever-increasing passenger expectations in terms of punctuality, information, and amenities as well as safety. Rail operators are setting out to confront these key challenges to better shape their strategic, long-term planning. Transportation companies need new systems to be delivered reliably and cost effectively whilst also increasing availability and enabling improved turnaround time for rolling stock and maximization of future return on assets. With a robust growth trend in the rail industry, I believe we are experiencing an exciting evolution in technology, with an emerging trend in Southeast Asia to adopt automated mass transit technology.
How do you think the challenge can be overcome?
I believe it is vital to have comprehensive mobility solutions and the assurance of maximum, care-free lifetime performance for rail system. It is important to focus on developing vehicles and equipment featuring lightweight and efficient designs which enable higher speeds, capacity and energy savings. In addition, the application of digital technologies, such as communications-based train control (CBTC) or the latest LTE 4G networks support higher levels of automation and centralized infrastructure management. Also, excellence in these integrating solutions and new systems delivered on time and with correct functionality at the first installation will determine the extent to which a railway project or network will be successful.
With our globally-proven range of product portfolios and experienced team, we are well equipped to provide the right solutions for the specific and varied requirements of rail operators in the region. With the high requirement for new infrastructure projects, a great challenge is to secure capital investment, and as a complete system provider, Bombardier efficiently and effectively manages complex transportation system projects with multiple suppliers and partners. With over 60 systems in operation worldwide, we are highly proven to deliver turnkey transportation systems anywhere in the world.
In addition, with Bombardier’s extensive experience in Europe’s cross-border railway projects, we have the expertise to provide efficient project management, which will be an important factor in the upcoming Southeast Asia’s cross-border rail network.
Here in Bombardier, we are also committed to developing regional expertise in the rail industry with several significant milestones in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. We have partnerships with three of Thailand’s leading Universities to promote Rail Engineering education and research. While in Malaysia, we actively collaborate with industry Government group to provide development training for small and medium enterprises to transfer technology knowledge and skills in the manufacturing and MRO sector. We also have collaboration with EDB Singapore to develop regional team to work on our Train Control Monitoring System (TCMS) and enhance software programing capabilities throughout Southeast Asia. We believe these initiatives will contribute to improved productivity and ultimately to raising rail industry performance regionally as well as globally.
Can you give us an overview of what Bombardier Transportation will be sharing with the audience at Asia Pacific Rail 2018?
We are about creating better ways to move people across cities and countries and we want to share how our world class fleet performance can impact communities, economies and the environment. At this very moment, more than 100,000 Bombardier cars are serving cities across the world moving millions of passengers daily, putting us in an ideal position to share how we help our customers minimize operational costs and maximize revenue generation over an extended asset lifetime.
Bombardier is committed to enabling the highest level of availability and reliability through improving life cycle costs and providing continued uncompromising safety. A key focus of our participation at this year’s Asia Pacific Rail event is the importance of our dedicated services offerings that are enhancing maintenance management and system performance using the latest digital technologies, and we will be sharing a whitepaper on the first day of the conference. These include ORBITA, a ground breaking Predictive Asset Management capability that combines data gathered from rolling stock with Bombardier’s fleet knowledge and engineering expertise to enhance the active management of vehicles and infrastructure maintenance, performance and operation. In addition, our OPTIFLO rail control service solutions enable operators to easily and swiftly build a comprehensive, tailored, single solution to take the next step in avoiding service disruptions, while improving operation and reducing costs, safeguarding their investment in rail control systems.
At the tradeshow, Bombardier will showcase two of its major innovations in the field of driverless systems – the BOMBARDIER INNOVIA Monorail 300 and BOMBARDIER MOVIA Metro 300. We will also feature BOMBARDIER CITYFLO solutions covering the full range of automatic train control (ATC) technology of trams, light rail vehicles and metros to suit various operating modes. Hong Kong is an ideal place to showcase mass transit innovations, with the entire Asia Pacific a shining example of a region where urban transport infrastructure is being focused on with great foresight and as part of mobility planning. We are very proud to be a part of that development.
About Jayaram Naidu
Jayaram joined the rail industry in 2001 with an education background in Electrical and Civil Engineering. He is a qualified Chartered Engineer and a PMP-certified member of the Project Management Institute. He began his career at Sembcorp in the Oil & Gas industry, and has in the last 16 years delivered various rail projects for the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, Bombardier Transportation and Hollysys Asia Pacific in UK, Middle East and Asia. Jayaram had held multiple senior management roles within the Asia Pacific region for Bombardier Transportation prior to being appointed as Vice President for Southeast Asia.
About Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier is the world’s leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.
Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the industry. It covers the full spectrum of rail solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling. The company also provides complete transport systems, e-mobility technology and maintenance services. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 39,400 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.
Bombardier the distinguished Platinum Sponsor of Asia Pacific Rail 2018. Visit them at the VIP Lounge at Booth E11. Get your free expo pass to visit them at www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/asia-pacific-rail/