Exploring rail futures using scenarios: experience and potential

Potter, Stephen (2007). Exploring rail futures using scenarios: experience and potential. In: Proceedings of the Universities Transport Study Group Conference, Jan 2007, University of Leeds, UK.

URL: http://www.utsg.net/publication.php?Year=2007&abst...


In 1995 the author of this paper undertook a scenario exercise for British Rail to identify priorities for rail science and technology developments under the new privatised regime. Four marketbased 2010 scenarios were developed for UK rail transport: 1) cost driven; 2) quality driven, 3)technology driven and 4) environmentally driven. These helped to identify areas of strategic R&D that were needed to improve rail’s competitiveness.

It is now over a decade since this scenario exercise took place. This paper, updating an earlier review (Potter and Roy, 2000), revisits the 1995 scenarios and compares them to what actual market strategies emerged within the privatised railway industry. It explores whether the four scenarios did succeed in capturing the range of market responses that emerged from rail privatisation and what lessons this contains for the use of scenarios transport research.

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