Modern rail stations, diversity of functions and a better integration in the urban landscape

burdujeni01The criteria for the location of the railway station or stations related to high-speed lines from the city should consider the optimal requirements of that city and of the citizens, as well as the ones specific to the railway system. A functional design of the station is absolutely essential while the possibility of carrying out business activities in parallel is also a regular feature of the railway stations in the high-speed railway transport.

Another important aspect related to the railway transport is the capa-city of railway stations. This problem is even more acute in the case of the high-speed transport because it supposes a greater passenger flow, especially from and to the main cities.
A study carried out by the International Union of Railways (UIC) has identified three major challenges for the location of railway stations in the high-speed transport from the cities: the accessibility importance and the transfer times, the importance of the effectiveness of different systems involved and the urban renewal and new developments of high-speed railway stations.
In the first case, it is the passenger’s option to travel by the high-speed train which includes the demand and the feasibility of the entire high-speed transport system. The choice of the passenger implies a compromise involving on the one hand the cost and advantage of the schedule and on the other hand the total travel time from one point to another.
The integration of the railway station related to high-speed lines in the urban and regional transport systems and the optimisation of transfer between the access ways and the railway station is essential.
Another relevant variable in choosing the high-speed transport is the cost. The railway transport has a clear advantage if the railway station is well served by the regional and urban transport, namely that it has lower costs in terms of accessibility. On the other hand, the estimated cost for expanding the railway station to increase its capacity in the urban environment is enormous; therefore, the design of a high-speed railway transport system, efficient in the urban environment must involve the infrastructure managers, the operators and the parties in charge with the urban planning.
The railway stations related to high-speed lines are a landmark in the urban environment and a powerful advantage for the city. They also act like a “magnet” that attracts activity in the adjacent area, both for travels intended to make the connection between them and other cities along the high-speed lines and for travelling from this hinterland.
In most cases, the railway station is the first image that the customer perceives about the railway transport. Railway stations must transform, just like airports, into hubs which also generate profit.
What about the central position of a railway station? Due to the high accessibility, at the regional level, many of them are attractive as a place for the distribution of goods but it still must be investigated whether they can have the desired effect for the retail segment.
What are the expectations of modern citizens as regards railway stations? The diversity of functions and a better integration in the urban landscape.
The location of stations that will serve the high-speed railway transport lines is an important and strategic aspect for the success of this system as a whole. Railway stations must be well placed for the user to benefit from the advantages of reduced travel time and they must also have a very good connection to airports, public transport systems and private transport systems.

[ by Elena Ilie ]
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