Multimodal Transport and Railway Systems – An Overview

Dear readers, a few months ago we have started a series of articles about multimodal transport and railway systems with a post about King´s Cross station in London. Since then we have published seven more articles, and today we finish the series with this summary overview.

The articles in the series are dedicated to analysing  innovative multimodal transport and railway systems across the world. Efficient transport and logistics solutions are becoming increasingly important in areas with high population growth and new innovative solutions are developed to fill the needs for efficiently working transport hubs.

1) King’s Cross, London

The first case we published is about the redevelopment of the King’s Cross area in London. Over three million journeys are made every day on the London Underground network, which equates to over 1 billion journeys every year.


The area around the King’s Cross station used to be a thriving industrial hub in the Victorian era, but it since fell to disrepair and for a long time suffered from a poor reputation. In 1996, a decision was made to redevelop the area. The project represents a classic regeneration challenge, and it has become a shining example of Place Excellence and good place-making practice.

2) Vienna Central Station

In the second part of the series, we took a look at Vienna Central Station, in Austria. Vienna is the capital of Austria and with 1,7 million people it is the by far the largest city in the country with a population of 8,6 million citizens. Vienna regularly ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world.


An entirely new urban district is being developed on the former Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) main rail yard site, with the station as a catalyst for the development of the neighbourhood area. In the new central through station, travellers and commuters benefit from direct and rapid connections.

3) Tokyo Station City

The next article we published was about Tokyo Station City, the Marunouchi Station and its surrounding area. In this article we present the re-development, with a focus on the initial very important visioning process. Without a clear vision, successful development projects tend to fail, and the vision development in Tokyo was, not surprisingly, very successful.


Being the primary choice for transport in Tokyo, rail naturally has the most developed urban railway network. Tokyo Station is the busiest railway station in Japan in terms of the number of trains, with the number of passengers entering the station daily reaching 380,000. In brief, the redevelopment project aspired to transform Marunouchi into “the liveliest, most interactive town in the world.”

4) Stockholm Central Station

One of the projects we have presented is Stockholm Central Station redevelopment, including enhancement of the logistic hub aspects of the station, development of commercial areas and the construction of a new commuter station as a main node interchange for Stockholm commuter rail, Pendeltåg.


Many of the commuter rail stations have more daily passengers than many major Swedish cities railways stations, and Stockholm Central is the busiest station on the Stockholm commuter rail, with approximately 250,000 people passing through the station daily.

5) Citybanan, Stockholm

About Stockholm, you can read here about Citybanan, an ambitious project to help cut congestion within the Stockholm commuter region. The Citybanan tracks in tunnels far below the city surface will traffic the new commuter station mentioned in (4) above.


6) Europabanan and Götalandsbanan

And also about Sweden, you can read here about two high speed rail projects, Götalandsbanan and Europanan.


7) Denver Union Station

The next article we published was the case study on the Denver Union Station, in Colorado, USA, a multimodal transit development located in lower downtown Denver. The article has been developed together with Donna Rubinoff, MD at Sustainability Advisors Ltd and consultant with the World Bank.


The project of Denver Union Station aims to provide benefits, environmental, economic and social, to the whole Denver region by anchoring an ambitious metropolitan scaled public transport system. The construction of the multimodal hub was completed in 2014, and the Union Station was re-opened to the public on July 12th 2014. The idea was to create an intermodal transit district surrounded by a mix of retail, office and residential spaces, as well as a network of pedestrian and public spaces around the site.

8) Arlanda Express

Our final case study in the series was about Arlanda Express, a public-private partnership purpose built rail link between Stockholm Central Station and Arlanda Airport in Sweden. The Arlanda airport rail link is a finance-build-transfer-operate contract between a private consortium and the government.


This is one of first such examples, with an innovative financial model, and it emerged after regulatory reforms of public monopoly industries (in this case, railway sector) were planned. A broad range of measures were planned, such as change of ownership and gradual opening for market entry, with a goal to end the monopoly through new legislation.

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