Evaluating efficiency of passenger railway stations: A DEA approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - station, operations - capacity


Passengers, Railway stations, Data envelopment analysis, Efficiency


Stations are bottlenecks for railway transportation as they are where traffics merge and diverge. Numerous activities such as passengers boarding, alighting and interchanging, train formation and technical checks are also done at these points. The number of platforms is limited and it is vital to do all the work efficiently. For the first time in the literature, we implement a methodology based on data envelopment analysis which is benchmarked from ports and airport efficiency studies. It can help policy makers and practitioners to rank stations in terms of efficiency and take more informative decisions. The proposed methodology can analyse the relative ‘technical efficiency’ of stations to handle train stops with existing station capacity. The second stage model analyses ‘service effectiveness’ to identify how well train stops at a station are transformed into the number of passenger entries, exits and interchanges, taking into account catchment area population and job opportunities. The models are applied to a case study of the 96 busiest train stations in Great Britain and are followed up by two Tobit regressions to assess the effect of traffic type and location on the results.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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