Passenger Demand Forecasting Council

Welcome to the online resource of the Passenger Demand Forecasting Council. This site is provided for Members of the Council and its Associate Members.

The Passenger Demand Forecasting Council (PDFC) brings together all of the train operating companies, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, the Office of Rail Regulation, the Rail Safety and Standards Board, Transport for London, the Urban Transport Group, and Welsh Government. Its aims include the procurement of research into demand forecasting issues relevant to the rail industry and to maintain and develop the Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook.

The Council offers consultancies and other organisations involved in the field the opportunity to become Associate Members, and so gain access to this valuable resource.


PDFC Conference - March 2016

Thank you to everyone who attended the PDFC Conference. It was a very interesting day with many thought-provoking presentations and talks. I hope you all enjoyed it and please make sure you complete the feedback survey that you should have received.

The last took place in London in the first week of March 2014.

The presentations are still available as PDFs on the SPARK website - please note, to gain access, you will need to register with the site. But the site does contain a lot of other rail research that may also be of interest to you.


Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook (PDFH)

The PDF Handbook summarises over twenty years of research on rail demand forecasting, providing guidance on aspects such as the effects of service quality, fares and external factors on rail demand. It is recognised within the industry as the key source of evidence in this area, which is reflected by the board membership of the scheme.

The Handbook provides guidance on applying this understanding to the preparation of forecasts for:

  • investment appraisal;
  • pricing decisions;
  • timetabling and operating decisions;
  • business planning and budgeting.

The Handbook is regularly updated, to ensure all research is both relevant and based on the latest available evidence. The latest edition, PDFH v5.1 was published in April 2013 following consultation with a wide range of industry experts and, in addition to revisions to the guidance to reflect recent research findings, the new version was also designed to be more user-friendly enabling relevant information to be accessed easily.

The PDF Handbook is provided to all Full and Associate members purely as a web-based version created as part of the 2013 update.


PDF Handbook Training

One day training courses, in the application of the latest version of the PDF Handbook, take place at ATOC's London offices. The courses usually run twice a year, in the Autumn and Spring.

The next PDF Handbook Training Day is scheduled for Friday 28th October 2016.

For more information, please contact the organiser, Fitsum Teklu by email, or telephone 020 7529 6582.