Characterizing European high speed train stations using intermodal time and entropy metrics

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, planning - methods, place - europe, mode - rail


Time, Railroad stations, Quantitative methods, Passengers, Optimization, Optimisation, Mathematical models, Intermodal transportation, Intermodal systems, High speed trains, High speed rail, Europe, Entropy (Communications), Characterization, Accessibility


This paper presents a quantitative method for characterizing high speed train stations in terms of passenger intermodality. The aim of the procedure is two-fold: firstly, the method is to be used as an objective measure for comparing stations in order to detect suboptimal points and improve the performance of stations as nodal points; secondly, the method provides a means to embed intermodality into regional accessibility models, allowing comprehensive modelling at lower scales. The empirical base of the work comprises data from 27 European high speed rail stations, which is deemed an appropriate statistical sample for the whole European rail network. Using the entropy metric, the authors found that several different patterns emerged: there was a clear hierarchy of stations which was linked to their respective roles within the system, while strong constraints impeded stations from performing optimally as true intermodal nodes.


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