Before the appearance of COVID-19, the rail transport sector was already working on a series of trends aimed to contribute to its reinforcement, by increasing its weight in the overall flow of freight and passengers. These include the resilience of the sector, its impact on the sustainability of the transport system, its interest in consolidating itself as the backbone of a multimodal system and digitalisation processes.
The evolution of these trends is directly linked to new demand patterns, as the health crisis has led to a change in habits among some sectors of the population (teleworking, e-commerce, etc.). Potential new supply patterns must also be taken into account, such as the availability of new services and better integration between modes of transport within urban and metropolitan areas. And finally, innovation and research processes that may affect stations, rolling stock, signalling and control, are aspects where harmonisation plays a key role.