Quantifying the Potentials of a New High Speed Train Using a Gravity Model and GIS



Quantifying the Potentials of a New High Speed Train Using a Gravity Model and GIS

Authors

S Ehrenberger, F Malik, J Winter, German Aerospace Center, DE

Description

For quantifying the potentials for operating a new high speed train, we developed a gravity model that predicts rail passenger movements and combined the results with geographic and economic data. We applied the model on several world regions.

Abstract

Considering the high speed rail (HSR) activities in the world, the International Union of Railways expects the worldwide HSR network to grow from about 10,000 km in 2008 to almost 37,000 km in 2025. Apart from Western Europe and Eastern Asia, where HSR has been operated since decades, countries like China and Turkey started to build new HSR lines.
To improve the economic and environmental performance of HSR operation, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) develops a new concept for high speed trains within the project ?Next Generation Train? (NGT). This new train is designed as double deck train running at an operating speed of 400 km/h and a maximum speed of 480 km/h. The NGT is supposed to reduce the energy consumption by 50 % per seat km compared to a German ICE 3 high speed train.
Apart from being technically innovative, the NGT is expected to service entirely new HSR routes and to substitute short haul and feeder flights. For quantifying the potentials for operating the NGT, we developed a gravity model that predicts rail passenger movements. The model takes into account population size of two places, their gross domestic product and travel time. As basic input we used German data on rail travel demand and calibrated the gravity model using regression analysis. We further applied the model on western Europe. This allows verifying the results of the gravity model by comparing the calculated most frequented relations to the HSR lines planned within the Trans-European Network (TEN) proposed by the EU. Based on this reference scenario, we applied the gravity model on other regions in the world, in order to predict potentially new HSR lines for the NGT.
Further we studied HSR routes for the identified lines. Based on data on orography, population density and surface waters, we evaluated the feasibility of possible routes using a geographic information system (GIS). Combining the GIS data with information on construction costs for HSR lines allows assessing the profitability of such HSR routes. By applying this new method, we conclude on worldwide potentials for the new NGT concept.

Publisher

Association for European Transport