Engineering, Freight Rail, Passenger Rail

AusRAIL: For major projects, confidence is key

Confidence is a valuable asset in major transport project delivery. Systra Scott Lister speaks with Rail Express about the importance of quality expertise throughout the life of a major project to ensure an effective result.


Scott Lister was founded in 2009 by associates Mark Scott and Howard Lister as an engineering assurance, systems development, and project management and assessment firm. It was acquired in 2016 by Systra, and merged with Systra’s Australian branch in 2018 to form Systra Scott Lister as a single entity in Australia and New Zealand.

Business development director Patrick Desforges says this combination of local expertise with Systra’s global experience is well timed in the Australasian market. With an explosion of metro, light rail and bus rapid transit projects underway or planned right across the region, Desforges says Systra Scott Lister is leveraging this combination of local and global to help deliver better projects.

“Systra is focussing on the rail market that is at its core business, including projects like those in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Auckland,” Desforges told Rail Express. “Systra is targeting engineering services where we believe we can add value and offer a different approach, based on our experience in both local and international markets.”

Desforges sees parallels between major projects like the Sydney Metro program and foreign projects like the new Grand Paris Metro Express, and the Dubai Metro.

“Those projects are all aiming to implement an automatic metro in a dense area environment to increase transport capacity, offer better and quicker mobility solutions to the increasing community, and promote urban development,” he said.

Systra was the project manager in charge of building Dubai’s Red and Green MRT lines, working hand in hand with the local transport authority from 2003 on preliminary designs through to the inauguration of the second line in 2011.

From 2014, Systra carried out preliminary design studies for the extension project, and has remained a part of the project during its construction and commissioning, scheduled for 2020.

“A successful rail project is a project that has been well thought-out and studied from an early stage, e.g. the business case,” Desforges continued. “A new transport system must have good reasons to be implemented and address real issues and risks in the most efficient and appropriate way. A good procurement strategy together with active local community engagement and controlled budget and timeline are essential.”

Desforges says Systra Scott Lister’s involvement in AusRAIL PLUS – where it is a Silver Sponsor – is to further demonstrate its capabilities in the local market, supported with global experience.

“Systra’s story is relatively recent in Australia and New Zealand and we are always keen to participate in events that present a unique opportunity to talk about rail business with the local rail community. There are solutions Systra can bring to help achieve all of this market’s very challenging projects,” he said. “The key expertise offered by Systra globally and by Systra Scott Lister in Australia in all its rail projects is the systems integration and the knowledge of how to operate any kind of rail system, including light rail, automatic metro and high speed and fast train. Systra is also an international leader in CBTC and ETCS L2 high capacity signalling systems development.”

Desforges notes the origin of Systra itself – through the merger of the former engineering arms of French Railways (SNCF) and Paris Urban Transport Authority (RATP) – has provided it with a history of rail expertise.

“Our DNA is rail and we are able to cover all technical disciplines, all through a project’s life cycle – from business case and feasibility study, to testing and commissioning, through all levels of design development,” he said.


Systra Scott Lister is a Silver Sponsor of AusRAIL PLUS.

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