our story Begins in France
The global company that came to be known as SYSTRA Group was created in 1957 when SNCF, France’s national railway company, established the railway design and construction company SOFRERAIL to develop railway solutions outside France. Four years later, RATP, Paris’s public transportation operator, created the urban transportation design and construction firm SOFRETU to expand RATP’s expertise in major cities around the globe.
The Birth of SYSTRA USA
The US affiliate of SOFRETU, LS Transit Systems (LSTS), was formed in 1985 and Rail Transportation Systems (RTS), SOFRERAIL’s US affiliate, was created in 1989. SOFRERAIL and SOFRETU merged in 1992, forming SYSTRA Group. As the Group progressively integrated the activities and assignments of SOFRERAIL and SOFRETU throughout the world, LSTS and RTS joined forces as SYSTRA USA in 1994.
SYSTRA USA’s first consulting assignment (under the name LSTS) was the NJ Transit Penn Station Access Study to define major projects to improve NJ’s public transportation system. An early concept developed by SYSTRA was to establish a rail station at Newark Airport for which SYSTRA won the final design competition; construction was completed in 2001.
A company of Firsts
In 1991, SYSTRA USA developed and licensed the first version of RAILSIM, SYSTRA’s rail transportation operations modeling software. Today it is used by owners and operators nationwide to analyze dynamic train interaction and signaling challenges.
The Vanguard of Train Control Technology
SYSTRA USA established our West Coast presence in Los Angeles, CA, in the late 1980s. Since then we have helped shape LA Metro’s train control and signaling systems through an extensive portfolio of assignments. In northern CA, we became involved in the expansion of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in 1989, supporting the work to extend all its lines and the extension to the airport.
Integral to the implementation of PTC on US commuter railroads, SYSTRA helped Metrolink become among the first four railroads in the country that reported full implementation of PTC before the federal deadline of Dec. 31, 2018.
The US’s First “High-Speed” Rail
Throughout the 1990s, SYSTRA USA was a trusted partner to Amtrak for the implementation of higher-speed rail service in the Northeast. Branded as Acela Express, the service was inaugurated in 2000 and we take great pride in having had a role in launching the first “TGV” service in the US.
First US Interoperable CBTC System
In 2015, our international expertise was brought to bear on New York City’s mass rapid transit system when we began working with NYCT, supporting the installation, testing, and commissioning of its CBTC system. In early 2022, the team celebrated the implementation of CBTC in its final configuration on the Queens Boulevard Line (QBL West) express tracks.
This was the largest and most complex CBTC project the MTA completed and the first time that interoperability between two suppliers was established in the US, making NYCT and Paris Metro the only agencies in the world to implement CBTC interoperability.
SYSTRA USA continues to be integral to CBTC deployment in the US, working with NYCT and a third supplier to implement CBTC on QBL’s east end, as well as with BART in San Francisco, CA. We are working side-by-side with the agency to successfully implement its CBTC design-build contract.