SYSTRA is a global authority on transport demand and revenue forecasting, applying the latest research techniques and modelling technologies to help train operators and infrastructure managers develop rail services and networks to meet future demand.

Guiding the development of rail services and infrastructure

Rail authorities, train operators and infrastructure managers need to develop train services and infrastructure in line with expected future demand. Forecasting transport demand and revenue is a complex undertaking, particularly in the uncertain environment following the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel patterns have changed and become more unpredictable, and commuting and business travel has reduced.

Train services need to be optimised to improve efficiency, given constraints on public-sector finances. Rail infrastructure also needs to be adapted to become more climate resilient. To meet net-zero objectives and improve transport sustainability, local authorities are keen to encourage public transport usage, and the success of these efforts will influence future demand for rail services.

SYSTRA is a centre of excellence for passenger demand and revenue forecasting, as well as freight market assessments. For more than 40 years we have helped the rail sector to predict future demand and adapt services and business models to keep pace with changing transport usage patterns.

Discover how SYSTRA provides expert insight and advice to support decision making, policy development and strategy.

SYSTRA helps the rail industry to develop commercial models and service plans to address the changing dynamics of transport usage and build a sustainable rail network for the future.

Centre of excellence for passenger demand research

SYSTRA is the leading authority in passenger demand research, regularly working in collaboration with universities and other academic institutions to model and predict future transport usage. We have edited every edition of the UK Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook since the 1980s, and contribute regularly to the research base for this publication.

That means rail authorities and operators can rely on our expertise to advise on the future development of rail services and investment in infrastructure to meet the needs of passengers today and into the future.

Informing long-term strategies for the rail industry

Our insights help clients to develop plans and strategies for long-term service provision. Our revenue forecasts enable train operators to develop commercial models to support growth and future investment. They enable train operators to manage constrained finances and optimise their budgets, by focusing on key areas for investment and service improvement.

Understanding future demand patterns also helps clients to refine and simplify their fares and ticketing, to meet demand and encourage greater uptake of public transport.


For infrastructure owners and operators, our transport forecasts enable them to develop business cases for targeted infrastructure upgrades. We can help clients to ensure that infrastructure is developed in ways that are resilient to the impacts of climate change. Our expertise also helps the rail sector to decarbonise both traction and infrastructure, to help meet sustainability goals.

Harnessing the latest tools and software

Our transport demand and revenue forecasts are developed using a variety of robust and proven models and techniques. These include elasticity-based models, gravity models and mode choice models, as well as the PLANET Framework Model (PFM) developed to forecast the demand and benefits of HS2. We use a variety of proprietary and SYSTRA-developed simulation and modelling software, including SATURN, LINSIG, PARAMICS, LEGION, CYCLOPS and NoRMS.

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