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Six key factors that will influence the growth of long-distance rail

February 26, 2013
Author: Katrin Heintschel

Long-distance passenger traffic will increase by an estimated 21 per cent (2.2 per cent annually) to reach over 1.36 billion by 2020, 238 million up compared to 2011 figures, according to our recent study, The Rail Journey to 2020.

 Rail Market Europe

The report focuses on the period 2011-2020, which will see the passenger rail industry in Europe impacted by an unprecedented combination of factors: some relating to structural change, others arising from opportunities created by infrastructural investments and technology.


The report identifies that anticipated growth in passenger volume over the period 2011-2020 is driven by four key markets in particular: the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Germany.




The Rail Journey to 2020 provides an overview of the European rail market today, and outlines six key trends that will shape the evolution of the passenger rail industry, and its relationships with other modal providers in the period to 2020. These are:

  1. ˜  Liberalisation
  2. ˜  New market entrants
  3. ˜  Completion of new high-speed lines
  4. ˜  New hubs
  5. ˜  Air-Rail and Rail-Rail cooperation
  6. ˜  Railways’ costs

The report also outlines a baseline scenario, built around these trends, to size the business potential for passenger rail in 2020, and concludes with comments on how passenger rail operators can take advantage of the trends transforming the industry landscape, and position themselves to benefit from opportunities that currently lie beyond their borders. 

The results of this study are based on authoritative data and best practice modelling techniques from a dedicated research team at Amadeus. Over 100 sources from rail companies, public and regulatory bodies were consulted and Amadeus built predictive models based on correlations between long distance rail share of total traffic, national population densities, rail densities, rail industry structure across countries and geography.


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