Impact of Train and Station Types on Perceived Quality of Rail Service

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, planning - surveys, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, ridership - perceptions


National Rail Passenger Survey, Great Britain, passenger satisfaction


This paper highlights the impact of train and station types in the evaluation of service quality. A range of relevant trip and sociodemographic factors was taken into account. A partial constrained proportional odds model (an extension of the ordered logit model) was applied to data extracted from the 32nd wave of the National Rail Passenger Survey conducted in spring 2015. This survey constituted about 30,000 trip-level observations of passenger satisfaction with rail services across Great Britain. The results indicated that the impact of train type on service quality was significant. With regard to the type of train services, the modeling results indicated that high-speed rail, long-distance rail, interurban rail, and, especially, open-access operators were more likely to have satisfied customers as compared with commuter and rural railway services. With regard to stations, users of the smallest station category were more likely to be satisfied than users of larger stations, but other station types did not significantly affect satisfaction. Delays had a significant negative impact on satisfaction levels. With regard to passenger segments, respondents in the oldest age category were more likely to be satisfied than respondents in the youngest age category, and commuters were less likely to be satisfied than respondents on a business or leisure trip. Overall, these results show how train operating companies might best focus their efforts on improving passenger satisfaction according to train type, station type, trip stage, and user segment.


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