- 40% of France's rail industry operations
- 14,000 professionals
- about 200 businesses including global leaders Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, Eurotunnel and a dense network of small and medium enterprises (parts makers, research offices, engineers, etc.)
- 60% of the region's rail activity is based in Valenciennes
Many players are involved in the structure and development of the sector
- the Railway cluster (AIF) a group with 130 members representing the railway system as a whole: Engineering, infrastructure, rolling stock (both passenger and freight), instrumentation and control, maintenance, testing, certification, and training.
- RAILENIUM, the only Institute of Technology Research in France dedicated to rail, particularly infrastructure performance.
- I-Trans, a competitiveness cluster for sustainable ground transport that focuses on rail infrastructure, rolling stock, freight, and passenger mobility.
- the European Railway Agency (ERA), which works to establish technical standards and international signaling codes to ensure rail safety.
- the Centre d'essais ferroviaire (CEF), a testing facility for all types of rolling stock on rails, with the aim of type approval (speed, endurance, autopilot, and electromagnetic compatibility testing).
- the Railway certification Agency (CERTIFER), an independent agency of more than 400 experts that acts as a global leader in evaluating products and systems for railways and urban guided transport in order to ensure their interoperability, safety, and reliability.
A pool of qualified talent for the rail industry
The region has many higher education programs that specialize in rail, created with the help of businesses (on-board communication in transportation, rail engineering).