If one wants to stay up to date in any topic it requires a certain amount of effort. Not to receive information, but to filter it and get the relevant information picked out of the sheer mass of data. The same applies to the railway market.
Using the internet there is however a certain ease in the aggregation of information. In general, to get an overview of any market, there are two approaches:
- focus on the customer side
- focus on the supplier side
Customers are feeding the market with demand and needs, therefore allowing the suppliers to deliver. Intensive market studies, researches and enquiries are undertaken every day in each kind of market to filter out relevant data.
Suppliers are usually the technological drivers that develop products and deliver new answers to questions raised (directly or indirectly) by customers worldwide.
In addition to these two approaches there are certain other ways to figure out information on specific topics: Is it a medical issue, there should be hospitals and universities involved. Is it a technical issue, there are certainly independent organizations of engineers around defining standards and norms.
For the global railway market the following ways might be applied to get the latest and hottest data worldwide:
- usage of existing networks of information gatherers (i.e. magazines)
- information collection at the source (i.e. suppliers / customers)
- cross-branch information collection (i.e. not-rail related sources)
- Railway Gazette (use the Newsletter service | RSS feed)
- A list of dozends of railway-related periodicals can be found on Wikipedia
- Blogs, such as the http://www.railroadblogs.com/ or http://trainblog.com/as more informative information source
Information from the source
Due to the sheer number of customers and suppliers the collection of information from the source needs to be taken in steps. Questioning oneself, what is the exact information I need? Which branch of technology do I want to look into? Which market segment is the relevant for me?
Wikipedia is offering a list of railway operators sorted by Continent and country, as well as a ranking of these countries according to the railway network size. An extensive list of rail vehicles manufacturers can be found Wikipedia as well as a shorter list of rail industry companies.
The main effort to stay up-to-date in this specific topic won’t be in the aggregation of information, but rather in the transcription of information into the needed form.