New Ideas for Old Stations ? Innovative Concepts for Small Regional Stations in Tourist Areas



New Ideas for Old Stations ? Innovative Concepts for Small Regional Stations in Tourist Areas

Authors

N Klassen, G Pichler, P East, University of Applied Sciences Muenchen, DE

Description

Over the last 20 years rail transport has been changed significantly: High speed trains, new intercontinental links and airport-like stations in many capitals are supporting rail transport.

Abstract

Authors: Norbert Klassen, Guenther Pichler, Patricia East
Address*: University of Applied Sciences Muenchen, Dept of Tourism, Am Stadtpark 20, D - 81243 Muenchen
Tel +49 89 1265 2136
Fax +49 89 1265 2119
Email: norbert.klassen@hm.edu
Other submissions: None
Current status: finished
Stage June 2010:
Stage September 2010:

*first author

Title: New ideas for old stations ? Innovative concepts for small regional stations in tourist areas

Authors: Norbert Klassen, Guenther Pichler, Patricia East

Abstract

Over the last 20 years rail transport has been changed significantly: High speed trains, new intercontinental links and airport-like stations in many capitals are supporting rail transport. Due to policy changes regional transport is now commissioned by regional authorities and ministries leading to more competition in regional rail markets. Many countries are separating the operation of trains, the maintenance of tracks and the operation of stations. The success of these measures depends on various criteria.

The stations in general include infrastructure which is necessary for the operation of railways (such as platform, ticket machine, signing) and other infrastructure (such as buildings with waiting room, shop, restaurant or lavatories). Although the separation of the different parts of the station might be clear for planners, rail users generally perceive the station as a whole without distinguishing between platform and station building. Therefore the station is perceived and valued as a whole.

In Germany and many other countries stations are categorized by passenger numbers, traffic volume, train types or connectivity. Due to financial problems or necessities the business unit Stations of German Rail is currently selling many station buildings to investors, private operators and municipalities. Platform, signing and infrastructure necessary for train operation will still managed by the German Rail unit.

Based on that, many question for communities in tourist destinations arise: Is it useful to buy the building? Are the needs of tourists, day trippers and leisure-users different from commuters┬┤ needs? Which concept will then lead to a sustainable use of the station building? Is there an effect on rail use and public transport use in the tourist areas?

The paper describes the situation and categorisation of stations in different European countries and analyses the results of a rail user survey concerning needs from tourists and day trippers. Based on the survey, on-site checks and expert interviews, a scheme to assess stations from a tourist point of view has been developed and applied to 25 stations in tourism destinations in Southern Germany. The results will be discussed leading to recommendations for operators, private investors and destinations when and how old stations should be upgraded with innovative concepts.

Publisher

Association for European Transport