Amadeus Study Estimates 1.36bn Long-distance Rail Passengers in Europe by 2020

Amadeus Study Estimates 1.36bn Long-distance Rail Passengers in Europe by 2020

Long-distance passenger traffic will increase by an estimated 21% (2.2% annually) to reach over 1.36 billion by 2020, 238 million up compared to 2011 figures, according to a recent study from Amadeus, ‘The Rail Journey to 2020’.

The report focuses on the period 2011-2020, which will see the passenger rail industry in Europe impacted on 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 UK, France, Switzerland and Germany.

Amadeus Logo

The report is 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.

Six Key Trends

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:

– Liberalisation

– New market entrants

– Completion of new high-speed lines

– New hubs

– Air-Rail and Rail-Rail co-operation

– 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 report can be downloaded at

Thomas Drexler, Director of Amadeus Rail, said: “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.

“Amadeus is committed to partnering with railways and travel sellers to achieve this, and our proof is the investment made of the first truly Global Rail Sales Platform that already has SNCF, Eurostar, Thalys, Lyria, Trenitalia and SJ on board, with more key European railways to come.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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