Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NEAR2050 Report Summary

Project ID: 730838
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEAR2050 (NEAR2050 - future challenges for the rail sector)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The overall objective of NEAR2050 is to determine the long-term needs of different actors in the railway sector.
In order to achieve this, and based on the project brief, NEAR2050 will look at five main topics, which will each include numerous sub-tasks. These include:

A determination of the long-term changes in future needs

A determination of customer requirements

A determination and analyse of mega-trends and scenarios until 2050

Effects of 10% fewer cars:

Correlation with the Shift2Rail Master Plan

Elaboration and Dissemination

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Determining the long-term changes in future needs
The main objective from this task is to perform an analysis, diagnosis and find the dimension of the present and future needs of European railway passengers. Also, study the standards of service expected by the train users on all scales of the proposed analysis (urban, regional, long distance - conventional and high speed).
This objective has been achieved through the three proposed and developed task for this WP.

Potential customer/passenger requirement analysis has been developed in a consulting progress based on focus groups and experts` interviews related to railway sector. Some channels have been used to obtain this, face to face interviews, on line trough skype meetings and through the online platform. All these approaches have helped to obtain the objectives related to this task.
Thanks to consulting process carried out between different agents involved in railway (passengers, operators and customers), customer and passenger requirements have been obtained. Data from agents of each partner country have been obtained to be analysed in the next task. Variables more relevant have been obtained and several

Investigate customer behaviour
With all variables of users obtained in the previous citizen participation (Focus Groups and in-depth interviews) a stated preference survey was defined. Best worst methodology has served to survey data exploitation and to establish a variable order of importance.

Define a process that will evaluate the needs of different user groups
This allowed establishing a work methodology with Focus Groups and in-depth interview to study the needs of rail customers. This methodology will be used in the next WPs and task.
This methodology goes from citizen participation initially with focus groups and in-depth interviews and then with stated preference surveys to the development of discrete choice models and best worst analysis.
Define the most important customer variables regarding rail transport mode and allows rail demand prediction models
Establish a SWOT analysis of railways situation from different perspectives (customers and users of rail sector).

Identification of relevant influencing factors
A secondary study of mega-trends and the influence factors of future scenarios, while also carrying out a pre-evaluation and pre-prioritisation of these influence factors was done. This was initially carried out by the consortium members however; the experience and expertise from external parties was then be sought via the project platform and expert interviews. This was to ensure that as many possible viewpoints are considered.
Relevant trends, influencing factors and key factors regarding transport research analysis: A list of 400 influencing factors and trends with descriptions included and organized in different criteria.

Trend Projections
These verified influencing factors were summarized to mega influencing factors and trends, to get a workable number for the following assessment and verification and were described in detail as a preparation for the following assessment and verification.
As a combination of these future perspectives were combined for different personas, that represent all kind of users and stakeholders of rail. With these combinations service blueprints/customer journeys were designed followed by mini-scenarios, that were fully modelled to show the perspectives and possibilities for each of these scenarios.
Mini-scenarios of future stakeholder perspectives: A report of the work done to reach the objectives of this deliverable, summarizing all influencing factors to mega influencing factors and describing them in detail, creating future perspectives and trend projection funnels of these mega influencing factors as well as personas, that represent all kind of users and stakeholders of rail. The report continues with the description of creating service blueprints and customer journeys and mini-scenarios for each persona.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The development of this project will carry a set of positive benefits, as well as, a reduction in some negative impacts that actually exist in the European transport system.
This study will analyse the actual situation and the future social strategies to follow in order to improve the European railway sector. Strengthening the train as a sustainable transport system for users (passengers and freight) and at all existing scales (urban, regional and long distance) will bring a number of positive benefits such as:

• Increased efficiencies in the mobility system between cities with a reduction in the use of non-sustainable transport modes (private car) coinciding with increased train usage.
• Improvements in the quality of service provided based on users’ opinions and perceived quality.
• Adaptation of the European railway network to the actual and real needs of the users, for this reason, this study will serve as a powerful tool to analyse the change.
• Energy saving derived from the reduction of other less sustainable transport systems (private car) in favour to the train. This energy saving will be experienced as a reduction in acoustic and atmospheric pollution in urban areas.
• Increased social benefits derived from the use of the train in local, regional or long distance journeys (stress reduction in road traffic and congestion, higher safety standards in urban and regional mobility with fewer urban road accidents, reduced travel costs, reduced travel times, increase in comfort during the trip
• Benefits in term of changing land use in urban spaces, with fewer car oriented spaces replaced by more sustainable uses (pedestrian areas, cycling roads, green spaces, etc.)
• As a result of increased train usage and the reduction in other less sustainable modes, new railway related workplaces (customer services, cafeteria services, shopping complexes, more on board personnel, more stations, increase in rail construction, etc.)
• Intermodality between train and other transport systems:
o Passengers (Bicycle, Bus, Plane etc.).
o Freight (Trucks, Planes, Ships etc.).

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