Research Proposal

Rail Passenger Demographics


To provide a demographic profile of train travelers (Europe). Specifically, to provide data on their age, gender, income level, educational level, and marital status. Exclude data relevant to commuters. As time allows, additional insights about customer personas and customer journeys would be useful.

Early Findings

Rail Use Purpose

  • Only 13% of Europeans are frequent train travelers (i.e. at once per week).
  • 78% of Europeans never make international rail trips.
  • The majority of train travel is done in order to get to leisure activities (35%), while the second highest reason is for going on holidays (23%). Commuting only makes up 16% of train travel in Europe with another 9% account for business trips.


  • The majority of rail travelers are between the ages of 21 and 29, with an average of 41 rail trips per year.
  • Individuals over 70 make an average of 6 rail trips per year.
  • 30% of Europeans between the ages of 15 and 24 frequently travel by rail, while the same is true for 14% of those between the ages of 25 and 39, 12% of those between the ages of 40 and 54, and 8% of those aged 55+.


  • The majority of rail trips are made by men (an average of 22 annual trips vs. 18 annual trips for women).
  • Women between the ages of 21 and 29 make the most rail trips of any demographic group (an average of 43 trips per year), while females over the age of 70 make the least rail trips, with an average of 5 per year.

Income Level:

  • Individuals with higher incomes make significantly more rail trips than individuals with lower incomes (four-times as many trips).
  • 43% of low income earners traveled by rail in a single year.
  • 65% of mid income earners traveled by rail in a single year.
  • 70% of high income earners traveled by rail in a single year.

Educational Level:

  • The majority of European train travelers are under the age of 24, suggesting that they likely have a high school or college education.

Train Passenger Customer Journey

  • Insights published by Global Railway Review note the following customer journey of a typical rail passenger: the passenger gets ready to go at their home, they travel to the train station using various means of transportation (e.g. walking, bike), they arrive at the train station, they head to their correct platform, board the train, take their seat on the train, exit the train, us another means of transportation to get from the station to their destination (e.g. walking, bike).
  • A customer journey map made specifically for Rail Europe was located, a company that helps travelers plan and book their rail journey in Europe. This customer journey highlighted the following stages: research and planning, shopping, booking, post-booking/pre-travel, travel, and post travel.
  • At the research and planning phase, consumers are researching their destinations and available routes. This may involve looking at destination pages, looking up time-tables, using interactive maps, comparing fares on other platforms, and talking to their friends or with live chat customer service. This phase merges with the shopping phase, which includes selecting their passes.
  • During the booking phase, the user confirms their itinerary, considers payment options, may contact customer service if they have an issue, and then confirm their booking.
  • During the post-booking, pre-travel phase, users wait to receive their paper tickets, they may also print tickets at home, contact customer service if they have a change of plans, and check the status of their ticket.
  • At the travel stage, consumers handle their ticket at the station, may view maps and lookup time tables, may arrange additional travel or purchase additional tickets, and may be looking to confirm their existing plans.
  • At the post travel stage, the user may be sharing about their experience and contacting the train booking company for follow-up trips or to request refunds. They may share photos of their trip on the web.

Proprietary Research

  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Results of this Research

  • We were not able to find any demographic breakdowns that are directly specific to non-commuter train riders, however, we were able to find some general data about train passengers in Europe which notes that only a small percentage of rail users in Europe is for commuting, therefore, any relevant, general passenger demographic data has been provided.
  • Overall, there does not appear to be very much information publicly available that shows the demographics of European rail passengers specifically.
  • No insights related to the marital status or education of rail passengers was located. However, a logical assumption was made with regard to education, as noted in the findings.
  • Some insights about rail passenger personas was located during the research, however, these personas were specific to certain case studies which didn't seem relevant to this research. For example, an academic study that showed rail passenger personas based on how they use technology. Therefore, this information was omitted.
Prepared By
Ashley N.
1291 assignments | 5.0