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Rail network accessibility and the demand for inter-urban rail travel


  • Mark Wardman
  • Jonathan Tyler


This paper reviews methods that have and can be used to forecast the effect of changes in accessibility to the rail network on the demand for inter-urban rail travel and of available evidence on rail accessibility elasticities. It reveals that relatively little research has been conducted in this area and that the forecasting procedures that could be used imply large variation in accessibility elasticities, which has not been empirically justified. Fresh empirical evidence on two related matters is reported. First, the neglected area of choice set composition is examined and the extent to which rail is considered to be a realistic alternative for inter-urban journeys and the contribution that accessibility to the rail network makes to this are analysed. Second, rail trip rate models are presented that not only contain estimates of accessibility elasticities and of the effects of a range of socio-economic variables on the demand for rail travel, but also that allow tests of the accessibility elasticity variation implied by many forecasting procedures to be conducted. It is found that this elasticity variation is not empirically supported. It is concluded that there is only limited scope for increasing rail demand through improvements in rail network accessibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Wardman & Jonathan Tyler, 2000. "Rail network accessibility and the demand for inter-urban rail travel," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:20:y:2000:i:1:p:3-24
    DOI: 10.1080/014416400295310

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    Cited by:

    1. W. Lythgoe & M. Wardman, 2004. "Modelling passenger demand for parkway rail stations," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 125-151, May.
    2. Martín, Juan Carlos & Román, Concepción & García-Palomares, Juan Carlos & Gutiérrez, Javier, 2014. "Spatial analysis of the competitiveness of the high-speed train and air transport: The role of access to terminals in the Madrid–Barcelona corridor," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 392-408.
    3. repec:eee:transa:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:89-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Wardman, Mark & Lythgoe, William & Whelan, Gerard, 2007. "Rail Passenger Demand Forecasting: Cross-Sectional Models Revisited," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 119-152, January.
    5. Krygsman, Stephan & Dijst, Martin & Arentze, Theo, 2004. "Multimodal public transport: an analysis of travel time elements and the interconnectivity ratio," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-275, July.
    6. Givoni, Moshe & Rietveld, Piet, 2007. "The access journey to the railway station and its role in passengers' satisfaction with rail travel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 357-365, September.
    7. Juan Carlos García-Palomares & Javier Gutiérrez & Juan Carlos Martín & Concepción Román, 2013. "Modal accessibility disparity to terminals and its effect on the competitiveness of HST versus air transport," Chapters,in: Smart Transport Networks, chapter 7, pages 126-149 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Brons, Martijn & Givoni, Moshe & Rietveld, Piet, 2009. "Access to railway stations and its potential in increasing rail use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 136-149, February.
    9. Van Exel, N.J.A. & Rietveld, P., 2009. "Could you also have made this trip by another mode? An investigation of perceived travel possibilities of car and train travellers on the main travel corridors to the city of Amsterdam, The Netherland," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 374-385, May.

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