Alleviating the pressure on airspace capacity
Previous research by Royal HaskoningDHV showed that the train has great potential as an alternative for short-haul flights (up to 750 km). With Dutch airspace capacity fast approaching its limit, how could a modal mix influence the new era of train and air travel?
We were approached by an environmental interest group who wanted to further explore how trains could serve as better alternatives to flights. To do this we considered the following:
- What potential improvements are needed for trains?
- How realistic is it to achieve these improvements?
- What are the different passenger archetypes and what are their motives for travel?
- What are the projected results and impact?
Gathering accurate travel and passenger data
Using our extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of international travel, we prepared a comprehensive report that outlined opportunities and potential advancements for train journeys. In collaboration with various travellers and stakeholders, including Schiphol Airport, the findings were determined and verified.
For the improvement steps, an optimization proposal was created. This proposal was based on the understanding of current capacity and timetables. In addition, we also interviewed a number of travellers to determine travel motives and using transport modelling, we examined the impact on travel time, passenger mode choice and environment concerns.
Embedding rail networks for the future
Using an integrated approach, we produced an independent report which was widely supported and accepted by the various stakeholders involved. Most importantly, the advancements to the train travel has shown to bring new opportunities in multiple areas – improving the journey time for the traveller, reducing the external environmental effects, and reducing the number of flight movements at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The report forms the starting point for discussion around further improvements such as ticketing and services, the removal of barriers, optimization of the planning process, and a study towards an integrated European high-speed rail network.
By transforming data into meaningful insights and actions, this study will help to resolve the capacity crunch and embed rail more effectively as part of a multimodal transport network for the future, offering greater passenger flexibility and choice.