CZ/SK verze

"Intelligence, Sustainability, and Autonomy Are the Future of Rail," Says Marcin Górecki, Siemens Mobility Poland

&quote;Intelligence, Sustainability, and Autonomy Are the Future of Rail,&quote; Says Marcin Górecki, Siemens Mobility Poland
photo: Siemens Mobility / Public domain/Marcin Górecki
28 / 02 / 2024

In an insightful interview with RAILTARGET, Marcin Górecki, the newly appointed Director of Communications and Marketing at the Polish branch of Siemens Mobility, shares his comprehensive vision for the company as it embarks on a new chapter in 2024. With a rich heritage spanning over three decades in Poland, Siemens Mobility stands at the forefront of rail technology innovation. Górecki, drawing on his extensive experience and forward-thinking approach, highlights the pivotal role of digitalization and sustainability in shaping the future of mobility.

What are your primary objectives for Siemens Mobility in Poland as you enter this role? How do you foresee tackling the unique challenges of this market?

Siemens Mobility is one of the leaders in rail technology worldwide and has been in Poland for more than 30 years. We are creating the future's environmentally friendly, safe, sustainable, and efficient Mobility through digitization and innovation. In Poland, we prioritize maintaining our dominant position and further developing our existing business activities (multi-system locomotives, components, customer service). 

We would additionally like to make a broader presence in the rail infrastructure market with electrification and signaling projects and partner in the modernization of the national rail transportation system, including a regional and high-speed rolling stock portfolio.

My role is to strengthen our presence and allow us to become even more widely known in the market. At meetings with students of technical universities, where I gave lectures on our company, I often asked, "What is Siemens associated with?" Although many people are familiar with our history and contribution to developing the power industry or railroads, the sentiment, e.g., for household appliances or cell phones, resonates. As Siemens, we no longer produce either of these. Still, we have much to offer in digitalization, energy efficiency, and cutting-edge technologies for many industries, including transportation. 

In building the image of a technology company in the broader public consciousness, there is and will continue to be much to do. All the more so because the management board of the railway company and a major Siemens company in Poland have been formed by the same people since January 2024, and synergies can be exploited.

From your perspective, what role will emerging technologies play in shaping the rail industry's future, particularly in Poland? How will emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and green energy transform the rail industry in the next decade? What role will Siemens Mobility play in integrating these technologies into its operations?

Regarding future rail transportation, three key features can be confidently mentioned: intelligence, sustainability, and autonomy. The key to introducing all these elements is and will be digitization in the broadest sense. 

For example, we have projects using cloud-based control of rail infrastructure on a nationwide scale. This results in a massive increase in efficiency for operators, and maintenance costs are reduced by 30 percent. We are implementing such projects in Norway and Switzerland, among others. 

We have systems that allow faults to be eliminated even before they occur based on wear and tear analysis, algorithms, and artificial intelligence - thus enabling 100 percent vehicle availability (RRX project in the Ruhr region of Germany)

Develop automated train operation systems - gaps between trains can be reduced to a minimum, allowing up to 30 percent more trains to run on the same line, meaning 30 percent more passengers and goods can be safely transported. At the same time, punctuality increases by 15 percent. The technology is already being used in subway systems and partially in open rail systems (S-Bahn Hamburg, Thameslink London).

Digital solutions are also helping to improve comfort - new vehicle equipment must consider customers' changing needs. This means creating more space for children's play areas, rooms for phone calls and work, and a stable Wi-Fi connection. In our trains, for example, we have a unique honeycomb window coating that boosts the radio signal by 50%, affecting the quality of phone calls and improving Internet connectivity.

We are also developing three major hydrogen projects in Germany (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg). Our Mireo Plus H trains have completed the testing phase and are ready for passenger service. In 2024, regular passenger service will begin in the three states. 

Concerning AI – Siemens announced 2023 a partnership with Microsoft to drive cross-industry AI adoption. Both companies have introduced Siemens Industrial Copilot, a generative AI-powered assistant designed to enhance human-machine collaboration and boost productivity. Companies will work together to build additional copilots for manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare industries.

Could you give us a glimpse into any future projects or initiatives that Siemens Mobility is excited about, especially those that resonate with the company's global vision?

First of all, 2023 was a record year for global Siemens Mobility. Our revenue has increased to €10.5 billion for the full fiscal year 2023, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Siemens Mobility's orders now total 45 billion euros (including 12.7 billion euros related to service), a massive increase after an extraordinary order intake of more than 20 billion euros in 2023. 

Throughout the year, we have won, above all, tenders for the turnkey construction of the Western Sydney subway or a contract to supply 1,200 locomotives to India. We have also implemented new trains for Munich's S-Bahn in operation, the first public test run of Mireo hydrogen-powered trains was realized, and the first line of the nationwide implementation of ETCS in Austria was launched as part of the 2021 framework agreement. 

We are developing many inspiring railway projects worldwide, such as in Egypt (2000 km new lines), India (more than 1000 locos), Great Britain (95 Inspiro trains for London), USA (new production center in North Carolina), and of course many more in NEE region. 

The 2023 fiscal year was also exceptional for the Polish company Siemens Mobility. The company continued steady growth in Vectron locomotive sales, maintenance services and rail infrastructure, and the supply of components to rolling stock manufacturers operating in the Polish market. It also presented its Mireo regional train for the first time on the Polish market during the TRAKO 2023 rail fair.

Personally, apart from the NEE & Poland development of Mobility, I'm most looking forward to someday riding our Velaro high-speed trains on the West Coast of the US, where we, as Siemens Mobility, are also investing a lot and see colossal development potential.

What advice would you offer those aspiring to follow a similar path to navigate and succeed in this dynamic industry?

First, practice - you can't learn to communicate and promote in theory. Then - listening to others and vigilance. I approach my work as an "intermediary" who wants to easily convey specific and detailed knowledge so that anyone can understand it. And finally, courage - communication has always been there; only the tools we use change. Only some tools fit every topic, but one should be confident in using and trying them. In addition to this, self-confidence, confidence building, and openness are essential for this position & for the overall railway market.