Recent Methodological Developments to Measure Spatial Interaction: Synthetic Accessibility Indices Applied to High-speed Train Investments

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, place - europe, mode - rail


Trans-European Transport Networks, Spatial analysis, Site selection, Principal component analysis, Placement (Location), Methodology, Methodologies, Location, Locating, High speed trains, High speed rail, Europe, Data analysis, Cities, Accessibility


The paper aims to analyse and compare synthetic indices of accessibility in order to measure the impact of high-speed trains on European cities. In particular, it considers the data and results concerning two previous articles by Gutirrez et al. and Martn et al. that analyse the accessibility gains produced by the construction of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts). In these two papers, accessibility is studied using, first, a partial approach with three different indicators: location, potential market, and daily accessibility; and, second, data envelopment analysis (DEA) to calculate a synthetic index of global accessibility. The present paper extends these studies by applying principal component analysis (PCA) to obtain a new synthetic accessibility index. DEA and PCA are two good candidates to synthesize the partial information provided by different methods that have been employed in the previous literature that studies accessibility. It is shown that DEA and PCA methodologies yield a consistent ranking for the global accessibility of the European cities for three different scenarios: 1996, 2005 and 2015.