Long distance rail travel boom predicted for UK

A boom in long distance rail travel in the UK between 2011 and 2020 has been predicted by a recent study.

The report from rail technology company, Amadeus, claims to be based on data and best practice modelling techniques from the company’s research team, based on feedback from over 100 authoritative sources. It predicts that long-distance rail travel will see an increase of 238 million passengers to 1.36 billion by 2020 compared to 2011, a gain of 21 percent.

‘The Rail Journey to 2020’, is the title of the report that analyses the expected influences on rail travel in Europe between 2011 and 2020. The predicted passenger growth will be fuelled by several complimentary factors, involving structural change, improvements to infrastructure and new technology. The UK is one of four key markets that are expected to lead the growth, the others being France, Germany and Switzerland.

The report analyses today’s rail market and provides details of six key trends that it considers will influence the passenger rail industry and its place in the overall travel market up until 2020. These key trends are: liberalisation, new market entrants, the completion of new high-speed lines, new hubs, air-rail and rail-rail cooperation, and railway’s costs.

The director of Amadeus Rail, Thomas Drexler, commented, ‘The Rail Journey to 2020 aims to inform the debate on how seamless cross-border rail services across Europe can become a reality. Building standards for data exchange, booking and ticketing services will fundamentally change the way the traveller will view rail travel, and move even closer towards the EC’s proposals for rail in its Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area. It will make rail travel more accessible, and improve the perception that rail is the way to travel across Europe. This will in turn encourage the idea that through-ticketing is a must for this to be successful.’