Introducing TGV Trains in Europe - Elements of Systems Analysis

Marchetti C (1993). Introducing TGV Trains in Europe - Elements of Systems Analysis. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-93-029

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Abstract

The problem of introducing faster modes of transportation has been analyzed in its generality using two methodological approaches.

The first one reduces traveling behavior to basic instincts, that of territorial animal and the cave dweller. They permit not only a generic illustration of the behavior of the traveler, but a quantitative and precise modeling. This line descends from the seminal work done by Zahavi at the World Bank.

The approach reduces technological evolution of travel machinery and infrastructures to a process of successive substitution which can be described using a simplified version of Volterra-Lotka equations of ecological competition. We dubbed it epidemic diffusion of action paradigms. The results are crisp, quantitative, and predictive. Concerning the specific object around which all the analysis rotates -- the introduction in Europe of higher speed trains -- it comes out that trains moving at 200 to 300 kilometers per hour mean speed are welcome ameliorations to the rail transport system, but, in their long-range configuration they do not match the evolutionary constraints of the transportation system.

A constructive proposition is formulated, where 300 km/h mean speed could really become trump card. The counter-intuitive result is that these trains should be used to link large cities, point to point with smaller cities inside a radius of about 100 km. The rationale is that people usually do about three round trips per day, one long and two short ones. The long trip, however, is about 40 (20+20) minutes. Connecting two cities with a transit time of less than 20 minutes will practically fuse them transforming the intercity trip into intracity trips, which are almost two orders of magnitude more frequent.

Some examples of these possible connections are given with a total track length comparable to that of the projected European fast train network.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Institute Scholars (INS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:02
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 08:59
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3784

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