Railways and LRT

The Consultancy has developed a wide-ranging but in-depth capability in railway economics, operations and financial and commercial planning gained through a number of prestigious projects. Clients have included central and local government, train operators, infrastructure providers, regulatory authorities, financial institutions as well as aid agencies for overseas projects. We have an excellent understanding of the rapidly changing policy context within which many rail-based organizations now find themselves working. This is creating new opportunities for rail service provision but also new challenges in terms of analytical needs. Our specific expertise covers:

  • Preparation of business case
  • Appraisal of scheme economic and financial feasibility
  • Demand forecasting for new services and stations
  • Development of network accounting and cost structures
  • Support for high-level economic strategy and policy
  • Assessment of new commercial opportunities
  • Market research and stated preference studies

Here are some brief details about some projects we have conducted in this area.

Merseytram Demand Modelling Project

Date: 2004

This project was undertaken on behalf of Keolis Ltd. A public transport operator who were bidding for the franchise of running the Merseytram light rapid transit system in Liverpool. Our brief was to build a demand model which was suitable for forecasting the prospective demand for the service in Liverpool, to predict the amount of revenue which would be generated by the new system. The outputs from our modelling work were to be used for completion of the Best And Final Offer (BAFO) document which Keolis had to present to government as part of their bid.

Our work involved converting an existing Trips model of supply and a spreadsheet demand model into a Visual-tm demand model. Visual-tm is peter davidson’s multimodal modelling software. This was done successfully and results from the two models were compared. Forecasts of demand were then ran for a variety of different service levels and projected forecasts were output.

This project was successfully completed in late 2004

Great North Eastern Railway

Date: 1999

Great North Eastern Railway required an analysis of the potential financial and other benefits that could arise from building a number of new railway stations at key locations across the UK. These new stations are to be out-of-town Parkway stations.

The work required the development and use of a road, rail and air network using EMME/2 software and combining this with the appropriate demand matrices. A national EMME/2 public transport model was developed which successfully gave results of customer demand for the key locations. Stations near the M25, Doncaster and Edinburgh were highlighted as sites with the best potential for development.

Account had to be taken of new service developments on other rail routes, which could be in direct competition with GNER trains and customer trade off points were calculated at which customers would be likely to switch routes and modes, including road and air.

The model was also used to review the introduction of faster ‘TILT’ trains and forecast the increases in patronage and revenue this new technology may bring.

New Rail Services – The London Borough of Newham

The London Borough of Newham wished to investigate the feasibility of building a new station at Stratford Market on the proposed Jubilee Line extension to Stratford. Peter Davidson Consultancy (PDC) developed the demand forecasts, which led to Newham preserving the alignments for possible later construction of the new station.

Planning for new railway stations and significantly improving the existing ones is a theme that runs through most of the consultancy’s projects. PDC have also undertaken projects that specifically deal with the feasibility of building new stations in this area, to cater for the large volumes of traffic generated by new commercial developments.

New Rail Services – Crossways Train Station

Blue Circle Cement were considering the further development of their successful Crossways estate on the South Bank of the Thames in Dartford and at that time there was the possibility that the High Speed Line to the Channel Tunnel could go under their land in the region of Crossways. There was also the possibility of building a new railway station to serve Crossways on the Dartford line in North Kent.

We were retained to develop the business case for the new railway station which involved forecasting the potential for new demand under a range of development scenarios for Crossways. Future scenarios also included the possibility of it becoming a new Parkway style station. We investigated the disbenefits to existing rail travellers and undertook the appraisal. The business case did not turn out to be particularly strong and to date the station has not been built although further studies are being undertaken as part of the Thames Gateway initiatives.

New Rail Services – Bishopsgate Tube Station

The developers, the London and Edinburgh Trust were investigating the potential for developing the major new site at Bishopsgate in the heart of the city of London. A new tube station on the Central Underground Line which served the development would have added substantially to the value of the site and the commercial development which they wanted to build on it.

We were retained to forecast the demand for such a possible new station at Bishopsgate, to assess and likely benefits, traffic impacts and revenue implications for London Underground Limited and in particular to estimate the disbenefits to existing Central Line travellers.

On this busy part of the Central Line, the possible new Bishopsgate underground station would have disbenefited existing travellers more than it would have benefited travellers overall. It was therefore recommended to not proceed with it.

The Bishopsgate site has now been developed and its buildings are highly sought after. The potential new Bishopsgate station was not built. This part of the central line has now been partly relieved by the Jubilee Line but is still very busy.


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