Rail Planning

The consultancy undertakes strategic rail planning projects especially those with a significant demand-forecasting component. Our clients are drawn from track authorities, service providers, leasing companies, government and other organisations. We carry out a wide range of work in respect of railway planning activities and our staff have a very high level of understanding of rail issues, and how to improve railway profitability, including specific expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategic and management planning
  • Development opportunity identification
  • Policy analysis
  • Demand assessments of new stations
  • Identification of infrastructure deficiencies
  • Detailed service planning
  • Scheme appraisal

Other staff within PDC, who have expertise in related fields such as market research, GIS systems and stated preference techniques, supports such skills. All in all, PDC can make a significant contribution to railway improvements, wherever the thrust for development comes from.

Recent projects include:

  • An assessment of the measures required to upgrade the single-track Ely-King's Lynn line (in West Norfolk) in order to cope with proposed service improvements
  • Validation of Cross-Channel rail demand forecasts for Eurotunnel
  • Identification of options for improving rail services in the Epsom area of Surrey
  • Ridership estimates for the proposed LRT system in Avon

Rail, Economics and Finance

The Consultancy has developed a wide-ranging but in-depth capability in many aspects of rail 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. Our staff 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 service provision but also new challenges in terms of analytical needs. Our specific expertise covers:

Preparation of business cases

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

A number of recent and on-going projects reflect the wide-ranging capabilities that can be offered. These include ridership estimates for LRT systems in Avon and Portsmouth, demand forecasting for Eurotunnel, development of rail origin-destination matrices, studies of line capacity upgrades for local authorities, assessment of new park and ride facilities and a major study for GNER and Sea Containers Ltd. into the traffic and revenue impacts of a number of new Parkway stations.