Does intercity rail station placement matter? Expansion of the node-place model to identify station location impacts on Amtrak ridership

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, infrastructure - station, place - north america, land use - impacts, land use - planning, planning - service improvement, planning - network design, planning - methods, ridership - behaviour


Node-place model, Intercity passenger rail, Amtrak ridership, Station accessibility


The node-place model has been used in previous studies to categorize urban transit rail stations, and to study impacts on transit station ridership. Similar studies have not been performed for intercity rail station ridership. This study uses the node-place model to examine the station-level factors affecting station ridership on the Amtrak network in the United States. The local factors include measures of the node and place quality of each station. The node-place model is expanded to include accessibility, an important consideration for the large catchment areas of intercity rail. Measures and indices defining each node-place-accessibility category are constructed and analyzed in two groups of Amtrak stations. A multivariate regression is used to determine the effects of each measure and category on the station ridership. The results indicate that the quality of place and accessibility for stations significantly impact station ridership for both groups of Amtrak stations. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the drivers of intercity rail ridership; the resulting insights could be used to improve service and development planning for intercity rail networks.


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


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