More driverless trains and roaming maintenance drones are two trends identified in a new report looking at the future of rail travel.
The Future of Rail 2050, which has been authored by consultancy Arup, has highlighted several new and existing technologies that could become more common place in the coming decades.
The most radical suggestions include the utilisation of drones to carry out routine maintenance and a rise in smart technologies.
Automation is also seen as a major growth area, with driverless technologies predicted to be applied to high-speed rail and freight.
Colin Stewart, global rail leader, Arup, said: “The global urban population is growing rapidly and by 2050, around 75 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities.
“This places huge pressure on transport infrastructure and resources, but also creates a significant opportunity for rail.
“The challenge will lie in juggling the responsibility of providing reliable travel for millions while simultaneously tailoring each journey for the individual. However, by rapidly developing technology and taking bold steps to overcome capacity and cost challenges, the rail renaissance can deliver a future where it is the backbone of our travel system.”