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Age-Friendly Rail Station: Software package application for designing and evaluating rail stations

Lookup NU author(s): Raphael Kling David, Dr Marin Marinov



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The study of rail station design, considering new technologies, operational measures and operational solutions, has become an important aspect of rail planning. Rail stations have been extensively studied in recent years looking at understanding the movement of different individuals in urban environments to improve customer experience and passenger flow. The effect of an ageing population in Europe increases the importance of the transport design. Developing age-friendly transport systems requires significant improvement in transportation. Although considerable research has been devoted to the design of Accessible Railway Stations, less attention has been paid to identifying the specific mobility and safety needs of older people. The purpose of this investigation is to study problems which may inhibit elderly mobility, to support flow modelling of older people within rail stations. This study uses an exploratory case-study approach to investigate the measures of system performance of the age-friendly rail station within different scenarios. 1 IntroductionThe fast-growing ageing population is one of the most important societal challenges Europe is facing. The demographic trends projected show a dramatic change in age structure of the EU population due to multiple factors such as dynamics of fertility, life expectancy, and migration rates. For public transport, the ageing trend presents additional challenges. Literature indicates that age tends to reduce driving skill levels, due to physical and cognitive issues. In order to maintain elderly independent living, essential improvements in European public transport are therefore required. 2 Problem and objectivesCurrently, public transport is failing to meet the needs of many older people. Age-friendly design for public transport is required to fulfil the transport needs of an ageing society. Predictions projected a significant increase in the share of people aged 65 years or over. A number of researchers have reported the importance of mobility for the wellbeing of older people, helping to avoid loneliness and isolation. Recently investigators have examined the effects of technology for improving the lives of older people, reducing problems with wellbeing, safety and accidents. In reviewing the literature, several simulation tools have been found to analyse pedestrian traffic flow in different environments (e.g. subway station, stadium, shopping mall) to evaluate the performance and safety of the particular environment. However, little data was found on the association between older people’s specific needs and walking simulation. The paper will focus on the challenges to model these needs on conventional simulation tools in the market (Pedestrian Dynamics® and PTV Viswalk) and on the creation of a new software package application to model the age-friendly station and older flow walking. The goal is to identify research gaps in public transport design for older people, in order to develop a software package for designing virtual rail stations, in line with the needs of an ageing society. State of the art & literature review A number of publications have examined flow simulations of pedestrian movement. Daamen (2004) conducted a detailed examination of the relationship between speed, flow and density for one-directional simulations, and an overview of published pedestrian walking models to help model the particular characteristic of the ageing society that influence the walking behaviour within a rail station. Brocklehurst (2005) wrote an overview of pedestrian simulation software packages that provides a useful analysis of the main inputs involved in pedestrian simulations. The differences in the inputs between conventional pedestrians and an ageing society are considered to build age-friendly stations. To understand the specific requirements for age-friendly transport systems, a significant analysis and discussion on the subject was presented by TRB (2004). The main Design Standards used to model the age-friendly stations in this paper follow the standards for Accessible Railway Stations provided by Department for Transport and Transport Scotland publication (2015). The Tyne and Wear metro system was been examined in considerable amount of literature, Wales and Marinov( 2015) uses event based simulation to analysis of the quality of metro service to improve customer satisfaction. Sample and scenarios The Tyne and Wear Metro is an urban transit system with 60 stations spread across North East England. It is the second largest of the three metro systems in the United Kingdom, the others being London Underground and Glasgow Subway. Three stations are modelled using a virtual reality package application (Airport, Central Station and Haymarket). Different transport demands are used considering the metro utilization and ageing society trends for the North East. Age-friendly designs for the three stations are developed, considering previous demand to analyse the impacts of the age-friendly developments on rail stations. Expected results Identify the need for specific design features for the older passengersDevelopment of 60+ pedestrian simulationStation level of accessibility evaluation methodologyDevelopment of guidelines for model age-friendly transport infrastructureVirtual reality environment simulation of the age-friendly transport infrastructure References Brocklehurst, D., 2005. People Flow Modelling - Benefits, Knowledge, and Applications within Industry- PhD thesis. Loughborough University - Department of Civil & Building Engineering Daamen, W., 2004. Modelling Passenger Flows in Public Transport Facilities- PhD thesis Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department Transport & Planning Department for Transport and Transport Scotland., 2015. Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations. Wales J, Marinov M , 2015. Analysis of delays and delay mitigation on a metropolitan railway network using event based simulation. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory 2015, 52, 55-77. TRB, TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD,. 2004. Transportation in anAgeing Society- A Decade of Experience - Technical Papers and Reports from a Conference,Transportation Research Board Conference Proceedings 27, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kling David R, Marinov M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: RailLille2017 - 7th International Conference on Railway Operations Modeling and Analysis

Year of Conference: 2016

Online publication date: 04/04/2017

Acceptance date: 15/02/2017

Date deposited: 08/04/2017

Publisher: International Association of Railway Operations Research