In the media

Next stop, 2023: rail trends and predictions for the coming year

By Edward Morley, Luke Christou

Railway Technology

17 January 2023


PA Consulting’s Edward Morley and Sally Shellum, rail experts, discuss rail trends and predictions for 2023 in an article by Luke Christou in Railway Technology.

Commenting on these trends, Edward explains, “While Friday-Monday long-distance services and increasingly full, urban and commuter services are empty, mid-week, this flips, with urban trains too full. The seven-day timetable of five and two no longer works.”

Adding, “2023 will see increased challenge for customer groups, and greater recognition from the government of a need to alter this balance, with a more dynamic solution required, both in the timetable itself, and the configuration of trains that serve that timetable.”

He goes on to say: “The move to a dynamic timetable not yet enabled by a fully ‘digital railway’ will, nonetheless, begin, and with it a new movement of drivers between operators (enabled by the transition to a more government-controlled rail system through rail reform) to help that to happen.”

Sally predicts that, “The legacy of Covid-19 remains, from the Great Resignation to quiet quitting and current industrial action. For a long time, transport has focused on the infrastructure needed to provide transport services and recent months have highlighted the importance of the people operating and maintaining it.”

She adds that: “There will be a call for greater investment in people, both maintaining the engagement of those already servicing our transport sector and attracting new people, skills and ways of people into it.”

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