Estimating Pedestrian Flows at Train Stations Using the Station Transfer Model

Estimating Pedestrian Flows at Train Stations Using the Station Transfer Model


K Dekkers, NS Reizigers, Netherlands Railways; S de Vos, NS Stations, Netherlands Railways; J van den Heuvel, Delft University of Technology and NS Stations, Netherlands Railways, NL


Customers (or passengers) are at the heart of the license to operate of any public transport company. One of NS’ key challenges is to keep improving customer satisfaction. Existing research and experience point at the importance of stations in the passeng


Train stations play a vital role in the door to door travel experience of train passengers. From the passengers’ value of time perspective, the station is the weakest link in total time value of the journey. Within the station the transfer function – moving between the various transport modes and waiting at the next service - is the core function, because it connects all transport modes. Therefore, an optimal transfer process is a key requirement for a well performing station.

The basic requirement for optimization of the transfer process is to understand how many passengers use the transfer facilities, and at what time. This information is delivered by the Station Transfer Model, which taps into data already available at the train operating and station management divisions of Netherlands Railways (NS). With the model, the volumes of pedestrian flows at platforms, escalators and stairs can be estimated for various time frames.

The Station Transfer Model generates output that is useful for evaluation of the commercial performance of the station’s retail. It can also be used to estimate the required capacity of stairs and escalators between the platforms and the station hall, tunnels or bridges. When renewed data is available, NS intents to further develop the model to increase the quality of the output.


Association for European Transport