22 Aug 2016

Royal HaskoningDHV has published the results of a study that examined the market potential for international train travel within Europe. Based on publicly available data from 2015, the report revealed the amount and the share of international passenger travel by rail is much greater than currently realized with plenty of future opportunity.

Royal HaskoningDHV, Train2EU and TU Delft present their report on European rail passenger potential

As a founding partner of Train2EU, Royal HaskoningDHV embarked on this research to assess the market potential for international train travel within Europe. The research outlined what the growth potential for rail could be if borders such as interoperability, passenger information and service bottlenecks are eliminated.

Key findings

  • The number of trips by rail has the potential to be 20% per cent higher than it is currently
  • The share of international rail travel could be 25 per cent instead of the current 6 per cent, growing even further towards 2030
  • 59 Million railway passengers are currently unserved for international trips each year
  • 240 Million long-distance trips are not realised by the current operators

The research consists of a framework outline that explores both the demand and supply side for rail passenger usage to develop a preliminary proposal for a core connections network. Detailed results were published on 18 August 2016 in conjunction with Barth Donners’ thesis for his MSc degree in Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics at TU Delft.

Unlocking new growth opportunities

The results were shared during the international passenger rail summit (TEN-T days) where more than 140 rail professionals across Europe gathered to discuss and debate passenger-focused initiatives to make cross-border train travel across Europe more seamless.

Geertje Hegeman, Associate Director, Sustainable Mobility at Royal HaskoningDHV, who presented the findings at this summit commented, “Although international train operators state that they know exactly what passengers want, and that passengers are satisfied with the services offered, they cannot explain the large gap between the current number of trips and its potential.”

“This research demonstrates the immense potential for passenger capacity when borders, such as technical, information and service restrictions within the European rail market are erased.”

“It outlines the possibility for a shift in focus from investing in additional infrastructure towards the provision of services. By providing better rail services for international passengers such as transparent booking systems and open travel information, we can unlock the growth potential in the European rail sector.”

Looking ahead

Train operators, passenger interest groups and railway boards have embraced the news and expressed interest in the insights delivered from this research.

A joint party approach will commence to elaborate on the research, geared towards the different interests of specific parties like passenger interest groups, regulatory bodies and knowledge platforms, in the bid to unlock new growth opportunities for the future.

With a strong track record in serving the global rail market, Royal HaskoningDHV will lend its forward-thinking outlook and integrated approach to support further developments in the rail sector.

More information

The results of the research can be found at www.train2eu.org/research and repository.tudelft.nl