Future scenarios for the European railway sector: A methodology based on past trends and a stated preference survey

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - car, mode - rail, planning - surveys, planning - service quality, planning - methods, place - europe, policy - sustainable, ridership - demand, ridership - mode choice


Best-Worst scaling, focus groups, future transport demand, railways, stated preference surveys


The strengthening of the railway mode is one of the main policies that can help to achieve more sustainable future mobility. A methodology is presented to estimate future transport demand scenarios over the medium (2030) and long term (2050) considering three trip lengths: urban, regional, and long distance for two trip purposes: work and leisure. The objective of the scenarios is to answer the question: would railways benefit from a 10% drop in car usage? Qualitative techniques have been applied, based on in-depth interviews and focus groups, as well as a stated preference survey where the people sampled answered to different scenarios which included the presence of a new train, with a high level of service, and other possible new modes of transport such as autonomous cars and buses. The results obtained using Best-Worst discrete choice models show that the rail mode could capture a significant part of the demand from the car over all three journey lengths, but especially for long distance, if the new rail mode were introduced.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.