A method for the rationalisation of a suburban railway network
A multiobjective evaluation method (linear additive weighting) is used to assess the performance of stations comprising the suburban railway network of Brisbane, Australia. A multidimensional view of station performance is taken which includes such criteria as catchment population, proximity of magnets (shopping centres, schools, etc.), bus/rail interchanges, proximity to adjacent stations, etc., in addition to the more commonly adopted economic criteria. Performance is examined from the perspective of the operators (Queensland Railways) and the users of the system. The worst-performing stations are selected as prima facie candidates for reduction of services (e.g., by limitation of services to peak periods or factory shift times) or even complete removal from the suburban railway system. Some tentative conclusions are drawn regarding criteria which appear to differentiate most strongly between the best- and worst- performing stations.