So, you’re interested in a career in designing and building railway and hyperloop transport systems. That’s a good move! Global demand for transport is growing fast.

Given present trends, passenger and freight activity will more than double by 2050. Such growth is a token of social and economic progress, but it carries with it greater energy demand and increased CO2 emissions and atmospheric pollutants. A greater reliance on rail has the potential to cut that growth. In a world becoming ever more urbanised, rail travel is well matched to urban needs. Highspeed rail can serve as an alternative to short-distance air travel, and conventional and freight rail can complement other transport modes to provide efficient mobility. The transport sector is responsible for more than half of global oil demand and around one-quarter of global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. Therefore changes in transportation are fundamental to achieving energy transitions globally. Yet while rail is among the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers, it is often neglected in public debate. Rail is among the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers – while the rail sector carries 8% of the world’s passengers and 7% of global freight transport, it represents only 2% of total transport energy demand.

The regions with the highest share of electric train activity are Europe, Japan and Russia, while North and South America still rely heavily on diesel. Passenger rail is significantly more electrified than freight in almost all regions, and regions with higher reliance on urban rail and high-speed rail are those with the largest share of passenger-kilometres served by electricity. High-speed rail provides an important alternative to aviation while urban rail provides a solution to cities impacted by congestion and air pollution. Growth has been most notable in China, which has overtaken all other countries in terms of network length of both types within a single decade. Freight rail activity has risen steadily over the past twenty years. It is defined as the transport of goods on dedicated freight trains. Today movement of freight by rail is concentrated in China and the United States, each of which accounts for about one-quarter of global rail freight activity, and Russia, which accounts for one-fifth. Minerals, coal and agricultural products account for the bulk of total freight rail activity.

Rising incomes and populations in developing and emerging economies, where cities are growing exponentially, are set to lead to strong demand for more efficient, faster and cleaner transportation transport, but the need for speed and flexibility tend to favour car ownership and air travel. Rising incomes also drive demand growth in freight, where higher incomes, have sharply increased demand for rapid delivery of higher value and lighter goods. The rail sector has important advantages to exploit in competing for business, but this will require additional strategic investments in rail infrastructure, further efforts to improve commercial competitiveness, and technological innovation.

Hyperloop

Hyperloop is being proposed is the next evolution in land-based transport. It uses a sealed tube with low air pressure so that passenger pods can travel in an environment free of air resistance and friction. Hyperloop can convey people or objects at potentially-hypersonic speeds while being very energy efficient. It could drastically reduce travel times versus trains as well as planes.

Job opportunities in Railways and Hyperloop include:

  • Transit Orientated Design Master Planners
  • Traffic Modellers
  • Station Architects / Planner
  • Civil & Structural Engineers
  • Bridges & Viaducts Engineers
  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineers
  • Railway & Hyperloop Project Managers
  • Railway & Hyperloop Station Construction Managers
  • Construction Cost / Contracts / Claims Experts
  • Fare Control Specialists
  • Trackwork Engineers
  • Signalling Engineers
  • Telecommunication Engineers
  • Rolling Stock Engineers

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