Field experiments with train stopping positions at Schiphol Airport train station in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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The train station beneath Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is one of the fastest-growing ones in the country. Passenger growth has resulted in severe congestion at platforms, a situation that hinders passenger processes at the platform, particularly the boarding and alighting processes. This situation has a negative impact on station dwell times. Inefficient movement of pedestrian traffic at Schiphol Airport train station, a primary hub in the national railway network, has negative consequences for many trains and passengers in that network. In the short term, efficiency improvements are the only viable option to cope with passenger growth. An unfavorable stopping position for trains has been identified as a potential source of the inefficiency. The station layout causes concentrations of boarding passengers at doors in the front sections of trains. Because of these concentrations, the exchange of passengers and the station dwell times take longer at this station than necessary. Because existing research did not provide generalized insights, Netherlands Railways and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have conducted a series of field experiments. The main objective was to test whether adjustments of the train stopping position along the platform would result in lower station dwell times because of a more efficient process of passenger exchange. A slight adjustment of train stopping position resulted in a 20% decrease of station dwell times during peak demand and contributed to railway capacity. Moreover, dwell time variation decreased by approximately 50% and thereby promoted more robust train operations (punctuality).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Pedestrian
  • Train
  • Station
  • Platform
  • Schiphol
  • Dwell time


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