Influencing Longitudinal Passenger Distribution on Railway Platforms to Shorten and Regularize Train Dwell Times

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - behaviour, mode - rail, mode - pedestrian, planning - integration, planning - surveys, operations - performance


Dwell time, Passengers, Pedestrian traffic, Rail transit, Rail transit stations, Railroad commuter service, Train operations


The longitudinal distribution of passengers waiting on a train platform influences the boarding and alighting time. A smoother, more uniform distribution could benefit both traffic operations and passenger experiences. This paper investigates pedestrian traffic performance and the train operations that it influences in an integrated way by proposing (a) two in situ solutions to inform passengers and influence their waiting position on the platform, (b) a specific survey of passenger behavior under these conditions, (c) a modeling scheme based on a pedestrian microsimulation, and (d) an example of application to a suburban rail station in eastern Paris, the Noisy–Champs Station on the Réseau Express Régional (RER) A Line. The example reveals a traffic phenomenon of corridor–car interplay that implicates the specific behavior of late passengers and the contribution of this phenomenon to train dwell time.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.