Main Metal Material for Railway
Much like in the auto industry, steel and aluminium are the dominant materials used in the construction of train bodies, including the train sideboards, roof, floor panels and cant rails, which connect the floor of the train to the sidewall. Aluminium provides a number of benefits to high-speed trains: its relative lightness compared to steel, easier assembly due to parts reduction, and high corrosion resistance. Though aluminium is about 1/3 the weight of steel, most aluminium parts used in the transport industry are about half the weight of corresponding steel parts due to strength requirements.
As such, the main advantage of aluminium over steel is securing lower energy consumptions in high-speed trains and increased load capacities that can be transported, especially in freight trains. In rapid transit and suburban rail systems, where trains have to make a lot of stops, significant cost savings can be achieved as less energy is needed for acceleration and braking if aluminium wagons are used. Lightweighting trains, coupled with other similar measures can reduce energy consumption by up to 60 % in new wagons.