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On the right track to innovation

How is the ACTIA Group building its reputation in the rail market?
The global rail market, segmented into rolling stock, signalling and infrastructure, is constantly evolving, particularly in Europe. In the Old World, modernising networks and infrastructure and updating fleets of rolling stock are priorities for conurbations and regions, creating opportunities for players such as the ACTIA Group. It offers innovative solutions in passenger information, CCTV, trackside safety announcement systems and electrification.

The unique technological challenges of the rail market

An environment with demanding standards

ACTIA operates in a variety of markets, automotive and aviation among them, and draws on its long-standing experience to confirm that the rail market has particularly high technical requirements. For ACTIA, the regulatory environment is significantly restrictive, especially as certain processes specific to the automotive industry cannot be directly applied due to the small quantities of products to be supplied.

Maintenance in Operational Conditions (MCO)

As electronics specialists in the rail market, the ACTIA Group is confronted with the challenges of components becoming obsolete, bearing in mind that the lifespan of a train can be more than 30 years. Technologically speaking, maintaining systems in operational condition over such a long period of time is a major challenge, especially with the rapid development of components, particularly in the areas of passenger information and safety.


Damien Redondo, Vice-President of the ACTIA Group in charge of the railway business, underlines this prospect by saying, “Data security is a key technological focus for ACTIA, which offers solutions that generate large data flows.” 

Cybersecurity is a third major issue, shared by all automotive markets. Like all forms of transport, trains are becoming smarter and increasingly connected to their environment, infrastructure, etc. For ACTIA, data security is an essential technological focus, especially since the group offers solutions that generate large data flows.

Comprehensive, flexible rail solutions geared towards the passenger experience

ACTIA is committed to improving the passenger experience by offering comprehensive solutions geared towards comfort and safety. These solutions include PA-PIS (Public Address and Passenger Information System) audio and visual passenger information systems suitable for all train configurations.

In terms of safety, ACTIA offers high-performance train-to-ground rear-view and video-protection systems. These solutions enable rolling stock to be viewed in real time and are used to search for video footage recorded on board or to receive alarms that attract the controllers’ attention. To complete its safety offering, ACTIA also provides trackside announcement systems, helping to make track maintenance sites safer.

ACTIA’s comprehensive range of products highlights flexibility as one of its major assets.

Thanks to a unique platform, ACTIA develops customised products, offering a response tailored to the specific needs of each customer. Passenger information screens play a significant role in the equipment and can account for up to 50% of the total cost of the PA-PIS solution.

The displays are handling more and more information with increasing demands in terms of image quality, achieving definition performance of up to 4K.

Screens play a vital role in trains, both physically and in terms of integration and cost for customers. This sometimes poses surprising technical challenges, such as designing a screen 2 metres long and 25/30 cm high, illustrating the complexity and importance of these components in railway equipment.

Damien Redondo highlights this flexibility by saying, “Our range of solutions is sturdy and adapted to the specific needs of each customer. One of the advantages of our offer is flexibility.”

The keys to ACTIA’s success in a competitive market

ACTIA’s sound technical expertise and experience are major assets, with more than 1,000 trains equipped with its solutions worldwide. The Group’s competitiveness stands out, inherited from the automotive sector with its “Design to Cost” technique. The flexibility and balance between the solutions offered and market requirements make ACTIA a leading player, capable of making quick decisions when faced with frequent requests for adaptations.

Local presence and global collaboration to support Rail Innovation

ACTIA’s position in the field of on-board rail equipment is of crucial importance. The collaborative aspect within the company is particularly evident in this activity, with a strong pooling of skills between the different entities and complementary know-how. There are significant synergies within the Group, both between the French and Spanish entities and between the European and American entities.

ACTIA’s ability to respond to global markets by leveraging its local presence is a key success factor. Local industrial strength, due to ACTIA’s organisation and intermediate size, plays a decisive role in this success.

ACTIA maintains an essential local presence, being as close as possible to its customers. Its subsidiaries are autonomous and flexible, and are able to respond quickly to customer requirements and offer solutions adapted to local constraints, whether fiscal (depending on location) or political.

ACTIA therefore equips trains, metros and trams in Australia and South America, with notable examples such as the Medellín metro and the Sydney tram. The group’s customers also include large European public transport and rail companies, and it thereby participates in a rapidly changing market.

An innovative vision for future sustainable rail

ACTIA remains at the forefront of developments in the rail market, deploying an innovative approach that incorporates the latest technological advances.

This approach aims to

  • Optimise costs
  • Improve the user experience and
  • Enhance safety in a context of eco-responsible mobility and carbon-free rail transport.

The company is fully committed to the changing landscape of passenger information, managing a growing flow of information in an increasingly intermodal and safety-focused environment.

ACTIA’s future solutions include the integration of cutting-edge technology such as real-time video processing and analysis with AI tools, augmented reality, and increasingly efficient algorithms. Innovation also extends to data transmission and security technologies, with a constant commitment to security and user service, which are key drivers of this market dynamic.

ACTIA continues to expand its rail activity on an international scale. We are competing for large bids from major manufacturers and PTAs around the world. For a long time, ACTIA has been a challenger and has gained the trust of some major customers. Today, it is certainly identified as a major player in the sector,”

Concludes Damien Redondo.
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