IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Generic functions of railway stations--A conceptual basis for the development of common system understanding and assessment criteria


  • Zemp, Stefan
  • Stauffacher, Michael
  • Lang, Daniel J.
  • Scholz, Roland W.


The redevelopment of railway stations calls for the integration of many different objectives. Two crucial challenges thereby are the development of a common system understanding among the multiple stakeholders with potentially conflicting interests and the structured definition of comprehensive assessment criteria. Defining the functions of the system railway station, i.e. discussing what the system should do, can support solving these challenges. Based on a review of Swiss railway stations in a transdisciplinary research project applying four focus groups (n=38), 28 expert interviews and two expert workshops, we present a structured framework of five generic functions of railway stations and their interdependencies. The five generic functions are: linking catchment area and transport network, supporting transfer between modes of transport, facilitating commercial use of real estate, providing public space, and contributing to the identity of the surrounding area. Potential conflicts between functions are identified. They concern the competition of multiple functions for space, for customer attention or for revenues as well as increasing system complexities with station size. We illustrate how the framework of functions can be used to foster a common system understanding and to develop assessment criteria. Although elaborated from a Swiss perspective the framework is perceived adaptable to railway stations of other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Zemp, Stefan & Stauffacher, Michael & Lang, Daniel J. & Scholz, Roland W., 2011. "Generic functions of railway stations--A conceptual basis for the development of common system understanding and assessment criteria," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 446-455, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:446-455

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evert Meijers, 2005. "Polycentric Urban Regions and the Quest for Synergy: Is a Network of Cities More than the Sum of the Parts?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 42(4), pages 765-781, April.
    2. Fisher, Brendan & Turner, R. Kerry & Morling, Paul, 2009. "Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 643-653, January.
    3. Hine, J. & Scott, J., 2000. "Seamless, accessible travel: users' views of the public transport journey and interchange," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 217-226, July.
    4. Eric Pels & Piet Rietveld, 2007. "Railway stations and urban dynamics," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(9), pages 2043-2047, September.
    5. Wiek, Arnim & Walter, Alexander I., 2009. "A transdisciplinary approach for formalized integrated planning and decision-making in complex systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(1), pages 360-370, August.
    6. te Br├Âmmelstroet, Marco & Bertolini, Luca, 2008. "Developing land use and transport PSS: Meaningful information through a dialogue between modelers and planners," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 251-259, July.
    7. K├Âlbl, Robert & Niegl, Martin & Knoflacher, Hermann, 2008. "A strategic planning methodology," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 273-282, September.
    8. Cascetta, Ennio & Pagliara, Francesca, 2008. "Integrated railways-based policies: The Regional Metro System (RMS) project of Naples and Campania," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 81-93, March.
    9. Hatzopoulou, M. & Miller, E.J., 2008. "Institutional integration for sustainable transportation policy in Canada," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 149-162, May.
    10. Grimble, Robin & Wellard, Kate, 1997. "Stakeholder methodologies in natural resource management: a review of principles, contexts, experiences and opportunities," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 173-193, October.
    11. Curtis, Carey, 2008. "Planning for sustainable accessibility: The implementation challenge," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 104-112, March.
    12. Banister, David, 2008. "The sustainable mobility paradigm," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 73-80, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Tsekeris, Theodore & Souliotou, Anastasia-Zoi, 2014. "Graph-theoretic evaluation support tool for fixed-route transport development in metropolitan areas," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 88-95.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:446-455. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.