ORR points out the need for competition in the UK rail signaling market

The UK’s Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is concerned about the two main players in the UK rail signaling market, saying it needs to create competition and conditions for alternative suppliers.

ORR points out the need for competition in the UK rail signaling market
Picture: Network Rail

Especially in connection with the introduction of new technologies as part of Network Rail’s delivery of the Digital Railway programme, reports Railway Supply magazine with reference to the Global Railway Review.

In its updated document, ORR expresses concern that two major system and component suppliers, Siemens and Alstom, have significant market power and that alternative companies are struggling to compete with them on a level playing field.

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ORR believes that the two main players have an advantage over the privatization of the railways. Their dominant control over technology makes it difficult for new suppliers to innovate products or approaches.

The way the market works also reduces the incentive for new suppliers to make the investments needed to be competitive in the UK. ORR is concerned that these ingrained advantages and competition concerns will carry over to the deployment of alternative rail signaling technologies.

ORR believes that the rollout of the Digital Railway presents a unique opportunity to diversify the supply chain and increase rivalry. Increasing the number of players in the market will help Network Rail to drive better value and innovation.

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