18 December 2023
As we near the end of 2023, we’re taking the opportunity to look back on an incredibly successful year for SYSTRA. We’re so proud of how exceptionally hard our Signature Team works, and we’re not shy about it. Our dedication, collaboration and innovative thinking are just some of the fundamental reasons behind why our business is thriving. With that in mind, let’s celebrate 2023!

Hs2 Successes

SYSTRA have been a key player in HS2, here are just some of the impressive milestones over the past year:

  • The world’s longest box slide was completed at Marston Box – we provided the engineering design for the 86-metre-long structure.
  • We secured Schedule 17 Consents for the M42/M6 link viaducts, a key element of the Delta Junction, and for the Water Orton viaducts.
  • The first pier for the Water Orton viaducts was completed – the viaducts were designed by SYSTRA in JV with Mott MacDonald.
  • We won the South Ruislip Vent Shaft with VVB Engineering.
  • The Curzon Street station viaducts (designed by SYSTRA in design JV with Mott MacDonald) were cast.
Old Oak Common CGI.

And our successes at Old Oak Common (BBVS JV designed, constructed and commissioned) deserve a roundup of their own!

  • The first base slab concrete pour took place.
  • OOC’s final (161st) high speed station box pile was completed.
  • The final panel of the station box diaphragm wall was completed.
  • The Wycombe Line bridge was removed.
  • The Right Honourable Mark Harper MP (Secretary of State for Transport) visited the site for an excellent progress update.
  • The OOC East Box was handed over to the SCS JV for launching TBMs.
  • OOC won a myriad of awards at the Atkins Excellence Awards!

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

At SYSTRA we place great importance on having an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace, and our Everyone Onboard colleague engagement group is set up to help us promote that environment. Some of our ED&I actions throughout 2023:

  • We were awarded the Clear Assured Bronze Status inclusion standard.
  • Our colleagues had an amazing time representing SYSTRA at Leeds Pride 2023.
  • We launched separate family friendly policies in the UK and Ireland – they go above and beyond the statutory requirements, recognising the need for maternity, birthing parent, adoption, partner and grandparent leave.
  • We launched our flexible working policy across the UK and Ireland, so all colleagues can apply for flexible working.
SYSTRA colleagues at Leeds Pride 2023.

Ecological role win at Sizewell C

We are proud to have been be awarded an environmental services contract with Arcadis to provide Ecological Clerk of Works on the Sizewell C nuclear power station project in Suffolk. The ecology division of our newly formed Nature Positive Discipline is delivering the work.

Business Growth

We made several key senior appointments during the year – Romain Pison joined us as Director of Decarbonisation, Dr Peter Weldon joined as Director of Net Zero, Andrew Dugdale joined as Market Director for Mass Transit, Rail and Highways, and Llewelyn Morgan as Head of Innovation.

In conjunction with the opening of our new Cork office, John Paul Fitzgerald joined us as Director of the new space. The new office is well-prepared to capitalise on local opportunities, as demonstrated by ongoing projects including the proposed Cork Light Rail Transit system, the city-wide bus priority infrastructure improvements through Cork BusConnects EIAR, and the transformative N40 Cork City Southern Ring Road enhancements.

We also opened an exciting new office space for our colleagues in Birmingham, combining two offices that were in different locations in the city.

SYSTRA grew rapidly with the acquisition of Bamser, Subterra, Rail Systems Australia and 3 Atkins entities in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Nick Salt (CEO, SYSTRA Ltd) talks to colleagues at the new Birmingham office official opening day.

ECML PSU Hambleton Junction site powered up

The REAL Power Supply Upgrade team (an alliance between SYSTRA, Jacobs, Murphy, Network Rail, Siemens Mobility and VolkerRail) powered up the Hambleton Junction site as part of the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade.

This was a major milestone, allowing testing of the first ever 50Hz / 70mVa static frequency converter (SFC) on the UK rail network (and the largest SFC delivered by Siemens globally). The short-circuit test conducted at the site verified the capability of the SFC provision and protection of traction power to the rail infrastructure.

Bridges to Prosperity

Through Bridges to Prosperity, 10 SYSTRA colleagues from 7 countries (including the UK, France, Brazil, Canada and more), converged in the Rulindo region of Rwanda to construct a bridge aimed at fostering prosperity in the local community by providing better access to vital resources.

Despite continuous heavy rain and thunderstorms, the team did an incredible job across the nine-day period. The Rusumo bridge was officially inaugurated on 17th November, connecting the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi. The 59-metre suspended structure is the 12th bridge built by B2P in the region (and the 500th worldwide!), promising safe travel for nearly 5,000 inhabitants of the Northern province.

The completed Rusumo bridge in use.

Consultancy Successes

Our consultancy colleagues have worked incredibly hard this year, here are just some of their successes:

  • SYSTRA advised the Climate Change Committee (CCC) on electric vehicles – commissioned by the CCC, we undertook research on the differences between ‘typical’ and ‘peak’ demand for electric vehicle charging on the strategic road network across England and Scotland.
  • The Tyne and Wear Social Value of Metro Stations – SYSTRA identified and evaluated the social value of a wide range of station activities, including community gardens, farmers markets, the reopening of buildings for hospitality purposes, and even yoga clubs! Alongside Nexus, SYSTRA was awarded the Innovation Project of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) North East & Cumbria Annual Awards 2023.
  • Cycle-Rail Toolkit 3 was launched in Westminster – commissioned by Cycle-Rail Working Group, administrated by Sustrans and developed by SYSTRA, it provides guidance to station owners, Tran Operating Companies, local authorities and other scheme promoters on making the journey to and from the railway station easier by cycle, as well as advising on how best to provide space for cyclists and their cycles at stations and onboard trains.
Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for Transport.
  • We conducted the Brussels Airport Autonomous Mobility Feasibility study. The study covered airside baggage handling and passenger operations, with a view to transition them for pilot implementation.
  • In respect of The Greater Manchester Bus Corridors – Streets For All project, we began working with Mott McDonald and Arup to develop bus priority and public realm improvements in two corridors of Greater Manchester (Rochdale Road and Rusholme Centre), with more to follow.
  • We kickstarted the Doncaster Active Travel Social Prescribing (ATSP) Monitoring and Evaluation project for City of Doncaster Council. We were appointed to manage the project over the next three years (including monitoring core project metrics and undertaking a Process Evaluation and Impact Evaluation of the project).
  • We have developed and appraised a number of alternative approaches for achieving the required reduction of transport carbon emissions in the Isle of Man (in relation to private cars, goods vehicles, buses, domestic aviation, coastal shipping and fishing vessels).

Early Careers Milestones

Nurturing talent and fostering mentorship is a key priority here at SYSTRA, and a number of important early careers activities and successes have taken place in 2023.

Our 2023 Apprentice Launch Event was a roaring success. The event featured many inspiring stories and united apprentices of various levels across consultancy and engineering.

We also launched our Graduate Development Programme for 2023. The new 39-strong cohort learnt about the development they could expect as a SYSTRA graduate, hearing talks from some of our current graduates about their exciting journeys on the programme to date.

Our Design Coordinator Lucy Davison was also crowned Apprentice of the Year at the Young Rail Professionals Awards! The submission showcased Lucy as an ICE Future Leader, her co-leadership of SYSTRA’s Early Careers Group, and her work on projects such as the Transpennine Route Upgrade and the Azuma InterCity Express Programme.

Lucy Davison and colleagues at the Young Rail Professionals Awards.

Consultancy Successes In Ireland

Our SYSTRA experts have been working extremely hard in Ireland as we continue to grow our presence there, with some of their including:

  • The Greater Dublin Area Demand Management study.
  • A business case for bus station accessibility enhancements.
  • A commission, alongside Jacobs, on the BusConnects project in Cork, to undertake the technical aspects of delivering the transport modelling, Transport Impact Assessment and Traffic and Transport Chapters of the Environmental Impact Assessment for up to six bus-based sustainable transport corridor schemes in the city.
  • A business case for the Train Projection System, Onboard and Trackside rollout across Ireland.
  • A business case for the Foynes Line reinstatement for freight services, as part of a wider policy to dramatically increase the levels of freight on Ireland’s rail network.

Yorkshire Water Combined Sewer Overflow design package win

We were awarded the Yorkshire Water Combined Sewer Overflow design package through Sapphire Utility Solutions (SUS), to design 3 new storage shafts, reducing the frequency of sewage spills from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) causing pollution in Yorkshire watercourses. The multidisciplinary project is being delivered by our environmental services, civils and M&E engineering teams.

We also won a contract through SUS to deliver several Sustainable Urban Drainage schemes at Yorkshire schools, which will see us undertaking invaluable STEM engagement activities.


Throughout the year we celebrated a number of successful milestones on the Transpennine Route Upgrade project. TRU East is the alliance (between Network Rail, VolkerRail, Siemens, Murphy and SYSTRA) set to deliver the works between Leeds and York, and we are undertaking multiple design roles across the project.

  • Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) was installed at the Neville Hill depot.
  • Neville Hill’s Track Sectioning Cabin (TSC) was landed.
  • The project achieved the first UK active tunnelling under a live railway!
  • E1 track renewals were completed between Colton Junction and Church Fenton.
  • OLE installation was completed on the Leeds lines.
First UK active tunnelling under a live railway.

Opening of the Gatwick Airport station redevelopment

The Gatwick Airport station redevelopment project opened to the public in November, after years of intensive work. The upgraded station is one of the country’s busiest, serving over 20 million passengers every year. The passenger experience has been completely transformed, from train to plane and plane to train.

The Gatwick Airport station redevelopment on its opening day.

Our SYSTRA experts are very proud to have led on the architecture, design and engineering of the new-look station, which is now far brighter and more intuitive for passengers, boasting a new concourse and airport entrance, and doubling the space for the millions of people who pass through it. The finished design features a second concourse and airport entrance, with 8 new escalators, 5 new lifts, 4 new stairways and widened platforms.

Great place TO Work

Ensuring SYSTRA is a Great Place To Work is so important to us. Making sure that our colleagues feel appreciated; are able to both personally and professionally develop; and are comfortable, positive and inspired in their working environment, is a crucial part of this. Throughout the year we’ve been prioritising that mission.

We won Employer of the Year at Peloton’s SPOTLIGHT Rail Awards in April! Receiving this award was a very proud moment for us, as it recognised our commitment to listening to our colleagues, taking action and striving to go above and beyond. Our awards entry focused on the progress we’ve made in a number of areas including health and wellbeing; equality, diversity and inclusion; and training and development.

Our internal Excellence Awards in November were a roaring success. So many of our colleagues were recognised for their hard work, dedication and ingenuity.

SYSTRA Excellence Awards 2023.

We launched our Next Generation Leadership Team (NGLT) for our engineering division. The team will play a key role in shaping the future of SYSTRA, actively participating in a 12-month programme alongside our Senior Leadership Team (SLT).


All our hard-working SYSTRA experts have contributed to the following successes, in many cases collaborating alongside our partners – thank you and well done to everyone!


  • Environmental Best Practice, Green Apple Awards – HS2’s Old Oak Common.
  • Innovation Project of the Year, CIHT North East and Cumbria Annual Awards – Social Value of the Tyne & Wear Metro study.
  • Community Overall Ultra Site, Considerate Constructors Scheme Leading Lights Awards – HS2’s Old Oak Common for its Skills, Employment and Education Strategy.
  • Design for People, HS2 Inspiration Awards – The Delta Junction (River Cole East and West Viaducts, Chattle Hill Box Structure and Water Orton Viaducts).
  • Design for Time, HS2 Inspiration Awards – Area North Context Urban Integration Studies.
  • Contribution to Sustainable Transport, Scottish Transport Awards – Blackford Sidings.
  • Sustainability Award, CIHT Awards – Lambeth Kerbside Strategy.
  • Apprentice of the Year, Young Rail Professional Awards – Lucy Davison.
  • Employer of the Year at the Peloton SPOTLIGHT Rail Awards.
Left to right: Ian Bruce (Associate Director, SYSTRA), James Walker (Consultant, SYSTRA), Dominic Curry (Business Development Officer, Nexus) and Ben Arkless (Business Development Office, Nexus) with the Innovation Project of the Year award at the CIHT North East and Cumbria Annual Awards.

Highly commended:

  • Design for Place, HS2 Inspiration Awards – Streethay Cutting Area, Environmental Design Integration.
  • People Place Time, HS2 Inspiration Awards – Old Oak Common Station Public Realm.

Special recognition


  • UK project with a geotechnical value of between £500k and £1m, Ground Engineering Awards.

And that’s a wrap on our year in review. What a year it’s been! We’d like to wish our colleagues, partners and clients a very happy new year – here’s to 2024!

If you’d like to work with us in any capacity, please get in touch with our experts here.

Latest news

Don't miss anything, follow us on social media !