Estimating impacts of covid19 on transport capacity in railway networks

  • Nikola Besinovic Department of Transport and Planning, Delft University of Technology
  • Christopher Szymula “Friedrich List” Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Science, Technische Universität Dresden


Due to the covid19 crisis, public transport (PT) systems are facing new challenges. Regarding restrictive measures such as physical distancing and the successive returning of passengers after the “intelligent lockdown”, significant lack of transport capacity can be expected. In this paper, the transport capacity of a PT network is assessed, using a mathematical passenger route choice and train scheduling model. By analysing the overall number of transported passengers and the resulting link and train utilization; the networks capabilities of facilitating different demands under capacity restrictions (e.g. physical distancing) are addressed. The analysis is performed on the Dutch railway network. The results show that at most 50% of the pre-covid19 demand can be transported, while most of the trains will be highly utilized reaching their maximum occupation. Thus, significantly more parts of the network are becoming highly utilized, leading to a more congested and vulnerable system than in normal conditions before covid19.

How to Cite
BESINOVIC, Nikola; SZYMULA, Christopher. Estimating impacts of covid19 on transport capacity in railway networks. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, [S.l.], v. 21, n. 1, p. 1-18, jan. 2021. ISSN 1567-7141. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 jan. 2021. doi: