Anyone who has had any involvement in rail demand forecasting will know that it is far from easy to correctly predict patterns of rail use over the next five years, so why would you even try to predict these same patterns up to the end of the century?
Well, that’s exactly what the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) is trying to do, and this article will explain why.
We live in a world where fossil fuels and energy are likely to become increasingly expensive, and where there is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. In such a future rail’s importance as a transport mode will only grow. This means that significant investment will be required in rail infrastructure, but as rail assets have extremely long lifespans and as there are only limited funds available for infrastructure expansion it is very important that this infrastructure is built in places where it will provide lasting benefits.