Travelling by prepare in 2024? These are the very best stations for outlets, companies and ready instances.
Europe’s airports are repeatedly ranked from finest to worst to assist travellers make knowledgeable selections.
With prepare journey surging, it’s time to have a look at which European railway stations provide the very best journey expertise.
From connections to delays, the annual European Railway Station Index analyses Europe’s 50 largest railway stations by passenger quantity.
Listed below are the highest – and backside – railway stations for passenger comfort in Europe in 2023.
How are the prepare stations ranked?
The annual European Railway Station Index ranks 50 main prepare stations on the journey expertise they supply.
Compiled by shopper advocacy group the Client Selection Middle, it assigns factors for ready instances, delays and transport connections – each domestically and for onward prepare journey.
It additionally considers ticket affords, ticket sales space working instances and availability of knowledge, together with in-station companies – like lounges, retailers and eating places – accessibility, smartphone apps, free wifi and the supply of journey sharing companies like Bolt and Uber.
Experiences from nationwide authorities, on-line statistics, station maps, real-time updates and its personal analysis on shopper expectations inform the evaluation.
What’s the very best prepare station in Europe?
After taking the crown in 2022, Zurich Hauptbahnhof in Switzerland stays primary for passenger comfort, scoring 102 factors.
Its ticket workplace stays open from 6am to 9pm. There are particular ticket affords for kids, massive teams, younger and aged folks, and people with disabilities. The station scored particularly effectively on ready instances, with a median of 1 minute, whereas solely three per cent of trains had been delayed.
With 106 retailers and kiosks and 53 eating places and takeaways to select from, although, you’d be forgiven for lacking your prepare.
Regardless of solely coming into the rankings this 12 months, Vienna Hauptbahnhof in Austria has landed straight in second place, scoring extremely on in-station companies, onward journey and accessibility.
Berlin Hauptbahnhof in Germany secures the third spot, which it shares with one other Swiss entry – Bern – adopted by Utrecht Centraal within the Netherlands.
Additionally within the high 10 had been Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof in Germany, Napoli Centrale in Italy, Amsterdam Centraal within the Netherlands, Gare de Lyon in Paris, France, Oslo Central Station in Norway and Vienna Meidling in Austria.
Selecting one in all these stations for departure, transit or arrival might imply much less time ready for trains, extra ticket packages to select from, extra retailers and first-class lounges and higher connections.
What’s the worst prepare station in Europe?
Amongst Europe’s busiest prepare stations, Bremen Hauptbahnhof in Germany had the bottom rating for buyer comfort with simply 39 factors.
With a median ready time of 11 minutes and 43 per cent of trains being delayed, travellers can anticipate a sluggish journey when travelling to or from the northwest metropolis. A scarcity of onward connections, no free wifi and simply 9 retailers and 15 eating choices added to its low rating.
In second to final place is Munich-Pasing in Germany. The nation continues to fare badly, with Berlin Zoologischer Garten, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen and Berlin Ostkreuz additionally within the backside 5, regardless of its capital’s important station making the highest 5.
That is primarily all the way down to extreme prepare delays and ready instances, however Germany’s subsidised €9 prepare ticket additionally performs an element.
Rounding out the underside 10 had been Essen Hauptbahnhof in Germany, Birmingham New Avenue within the UK, Châtelet-Les Halles and Haussmann Saint-Lazare in Paris, France, Helsinki Central in Finland and Firenze Santa Maria Novella in Italy.
As a consequence of falling passenger numbers, London’s St Pancras Worldwide station was not included within the rating.
How have Europe’s prepare stations modified since 2022?
Now in its fourth version, the European Railway Station Index notes some developments and anomalies from the earlier years.
In 2023, scores for all stations had been decrease than the earlier 12 months, marking an observable drop in high quality with delays worsening as stations rebound from the pandemic, whereas the variety of retailers and eating places have declined.
Accessibility scores improved, nevertheless, displaying efforts to accommodate those that use wheelchairs and supply further signage and instructions for folks with disabilities.
Ukraine’s Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi was not included on this 12 months’s record attributable to an absence of knowledge, however the report applauds the nation for managing to run 85 per cent of its trains on time whereas underneath bombardment in 2022.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might have impacted rail congestion throughout Europe since 2022, with an estimated six million Ukrainian refugees in search of shelter, it additionally notes.
Has Germany’s low-cost prepare ticket scheme been a hit?
Germany’s low-cost prepare ticket scheme, launched in 2022, led to a increase in rail journey throughout the nation.
Of the 50 stations analysed, 21 German stations made the minimize attributable to excessive passenger numbers – but solely two made the highest 10. Munich has dropped to twenty second place after as soon as coming 2nd.
Final 12 months, the inexperienced scheme led to an 80 per cent spike in rural prepare journey in comparison with 2019, hitting smaller stations that lack the capability to cope with massive numbers. It has failed in its objective to cut back the variety of automobiles on the roads, the report notes.
Germany has now launched a dearer €49 ticket to maintain numbers manageable however the report says that smaller stations and native commuters have already been broken by the €9 scheme.