The impact of train and station types on perceived rail service quality

This paper aims to highlight the impact of train and station types in the evaluation of service quality, whilst taking account of a range of relevant trip and socio-demographic factors. It applies a partial constrained proportional odds model (an extension of ordered logit model) to data extracted from the 32nd wave of the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) held in spring 2015, which comprises around 30,000 trip-level observations of passenger satisfaction of rail services across Great Britain. The results indicate that the impact of train types on service quality is significant. Thus, for type of train services the modelling results indicate that high speed rail, long distance, inter urban rail and especially open access operators are more likely to lead to satisfied customers compared to commuter and rural railway services. For stations, users of the smallest station category are more likely to be satisfied than those of larger category stations, but other station types do not significantly impact satisfaction. Next, delays have a significant negative impact on satisfaction levels. Considering passenger segments, respondents in the oldest age category are more likely to be satisfied compared to respondents in the youngest age category and commuters are less likely to be satisfied compared to respondents on a business or leisure trip. Overall these results show how TOCs (Train Operating Companies) might best focus their efforts on improving passenger satisfaction according to train type, station type, and trip stage and/or user segment.