Larry Brain - Mar 4, 2013
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New study by Amadeus predicts long-distance passenger rail traffic in Europe will increase to more than 1.36 billion by year 2020.

A recent study by Amadeus, The Rail Journey to 2020, said that long-distance passenger volume will go up by an average of 2.2 percent per year (21 per cent) to reach more than 1.36 billion by the year 2020, an increase of 238 million from that recorded in 2011.

The report lays focus on 2011-2020 period which will see Europe's passenger rail industry driven by an exceptional combination of factors; some arising due to creation of opportunities by technology and investments in infrastructure, and others due to structural changes. The report points out that expected increase in passenger traffic between 2011 and 2020 is impacted by four main markets i.e. France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The report is founded on attested data as well as best practice modeling methods from a team of researchers at Amadeus. Consultations were held with more than 100 sources from the public, rail companies and regulatory bodies, and predictive models built by Amadeus on the basis of correlations between the share of long-distance rail in total traffic, rail densities, national population densities and structure of rail industry in different countries as well as geography.

The Rail Journey to 2020 gives a summary of the rail market of Europe today, and points out six important trends that will influence the passenger rail industry's evolution, and how it relates with other transport providers in 2011-2020 period. They are: New entrants in the market, Liberalization, Costs of railways, New hubs, and New high-speed lines' completion.

In addition, the report highlights a baseline scenario, based on these trends, to estimate the business capability for passenger rail by 2020, and finishes with comments on the ways operators of passenger rail can utilize the trends changing the industry landscape, as well as position themselves to take advantage of opportunities currently beyond their reach.

Amadeus Rail' Director, Thomas Drexler, said that The Rail Journey to 2020 aimed at informing the debate on the way consistent cross-border rail services in Europe can be realized. He continued to say that building of standards for exchange of data, booking and also ticketing services would significantly transform the way travelers look at rail travel, and move much closer to the proposals of EC for rail in its Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area. Thomas further added that it will increase accessibility of rail travel and enhance the perception that rail is ideal for travelling across Europe, which will in turn emphasize idea that for this to succeed, through-ticketing is necessary .

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