Over the past decades, transformers have been used in railway traction, as it was considered to be the most prominent alternative to the conventional fossil-fuel-based traction systems. Today, it is one of the most vital components of an electric traction system as it feeds power at safe voltages to essential train functions like traction, lighting, heating and ventilation, passenger information, brakes, signalling and communication. Traditionally made of iron and copper, these transformers are among the heavier components on a train. It tend to occupy more space and weight resulting in increase in train axle load and need for additional energy. Therefore manufacturers globally are developing new type of traction transformer with improved both in structure and performance for application in freight and passenger locomotives, tram-trains, regional trains, and high-speed trains. Traction transformers are mostly design and manufactured in accordance to specific railway system and based on detailed parameters. The system can be divided into two major groups, AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) systems.
With advancements in railway infrastructure globally and increasing government investments are thereby driving the market for traction transformer over the forecast period. In addition to this some of the prominent drivers for traction transformer market are factors such as growing use of railways and liberal regulation of railway system. Furthermore, the rapid electrification of rail networks across the globe, demand for traction transformer expected to grow further significantly. On the other hand, factors such as high cost and complex design of the systems may act as a major restraint for the traction transformer market.
Traction transformer market can be segmented on the basis of type of system, voltage, location, application and regions. On the basis of system the traction transformer market can be segmented into AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) systems. On the basis of voltage, the traction transformer market can be segmented as 15 kV, 25 kV, 1.5 kV, 3 kV and 1.2 kV. Whereas the location segment in the traction transformer market may include underframe, machine room, and roof. Application segment in the traction transformer market can be classified into high-speed trains, regional trains, electric locomotives, tram-trains, AC metros, and others. Regionally, traction transformer market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan, and Middle East and Africa.
Traction transformer market is dominated by the Western Europe followed by North America region. Western Europe dominance is attributed to presence of major players based in the region. On the other hand, Asia Pacific Excl. Japan, and Japan is expected to grow at a significantly as compared to the other region in the traction transformer market and will see a good growth rate in the future. Asia Pacific Excl. Japan is expected to great opportunities traction transformer market due increasing government funding and provision for the development and implementation of high-speed trains and metros in the country are driving the growth of the traction transformer market in this region. Eastern Europe, Latin America and MEA is expected to see a moderate growth rate in the traction transformer market.
Among the prominent players involved in traction transformer market, companies such as ABB Ltd, Alstom SA, Siemens AG, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation among others are focusing on organic as well as inorganic strategies to strengthen their position in the traction transformer market. For instance, in September 2016, ABB Ltd, launched its next-generation traction transformer named Effilight, designed to reduce the weight of on-board components and ensure more energy-efficient rail networks.