Enhancing European Rail Performance Through Market Focus
BROWN M and PEAKALL A, Halcrow Fox, UK, TORELLI F, Somea Consult, Italy, EMMANOULOPOULOS G, Trademeo, Greece, GINKEL J van, NEI, The Netherlands
This paper is based on a major market research exercise recently undertaken across four European states into passenger attitudes towards the quality and performance of inter-city rail operations. This work forms part of the PRORATA Project, sponsored by D
This paper is based on a major market research exercise recently undertaken across four European states into passenger attitudes towards the quality and performance of inter-city rail operations. This work forms part of the PRORATA Project, sponsored by DG VII of the European Commission, currently being undertaken by a study team drawn from six ELI member States.
The principal goal of PRORATA is "to study and to propose measures to increase the competitiveness of railways in long distance and international traffic". The scope of the study covers high speed and night trains as well as conventional inter-regional passenger trains. The principal geographical setting is the EU, but extends to relations with Central and Eastern Europe and intra-EU movements via Swiss rail corridors.
The Market Research undertaken comprised a mix of."
* Desk Research into existing travel demand data and mode-choice criteria studies; and
* new qualitative surveys in the form of Focus Groups.
This paper concentrates on the findings from the Focus Groups. These were convened to obtain up to the minute information on travellers' perceptions of the railways and their products. A total of 14 meetings were held, in: Italy; UK; Netherlands; and Greece.
To ensure consistency in treatment of the issues, the exercise was co-ordinated by the Italian study team member, with the same methodology and selection of issues to be debated being used at each meeting.
Part of the Desk Research exercise complemented this work, seeking to form an estimate of the current and potential future size of the market for longer distance rail travel in Europe.
The anticipated end-product of the PRORATA Project is a methodology by which railways can identify the most appropriate package of profit enhancing measures for their current circumstances, together with a change management programme to ensure their successful implementation.
Association for European Transport