European Railway Station Index 2020

Train travel has received a more important role in Europe in recent years. Policy makers and consumers have oriented toward train travel as a means of reducing carbon emissions. While we at the Consumer Choice Center stand for choice and technology neutrality, we want to use the rise of interest in long distance train travel as an opportunity to show which railway stations in Europe are the most convenient for travelers.

Inspired by its sister index, the European Consumer Airport Index, we looked at Europe’s 50 largest railway stations and ranked them in terms of passengers experience, ranked according to a mix of factors ranging from how crowded platforms are and accessibility to the number of destinations and cleanliness. 

This is the First Annual Edition of the European Railway Station Index, seeking to rank Europe’s most passenger-friendly railway stations. We reached out to Europe’s Top 50 railway stations and asked for relevant data, but also found data on the stations’ websites, online statistics, and conducted our own research to collect all necessary information. 

Research Note: We strive to improve the quality of the underlying data of this index year by year and aim to refine its methodology moving forward. We sometimes faced contradictory information and indicators measured differently by different railway stations and companies (e.g. number of destinations). We ask the readers of this index to acknowledge the difficulties working with heterogeneous data and caution users of this index to be aware of the underlying data complications.

Overall Passenger Experience Index (includes the above-mentioned indicators but also adds availability of ride-hailing services, competition of train companies, on-site restaurants and shopping, number of international destinations, quality of signage, average strike days, existence of first class lounges, and convenience accessing the platforms).

Overall Score: Top 10 Railway Stations for Passenger Convenience in Europe

St. Pancras International in London, UK leads the list of best railway stations in Europe. Its low number of strike days, high passenger convenience, and international connectivity helped take it to first place. The fact that it also hosts the longest champagne bar in Europe did not influence this ranking. Zurich and Leipzig Central Stations follow St Pancras in spots two and three. Roma Termini makes it to a respectable 4th spot. With Leipzig, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Frankfurt, half of the Top 10 European railway stations are based in Germany. All of them shine thanks to low numbers of strike days, many destinations, accessibility for passengers in wheelchairs, and diverse food and shopping offerings to kill wait time. The European Railway Station Index features mainly northern European railway stations in the Top 10. Roma Termini and Milan Centrale are the only two southern European railway stations among the ten-best ranked stations and Moscow Kazansky as the only eastern European railway station to make the Top 10.

Railway Station Index

RANK RAILWAY STATION CITY TOTAL SCORE
1 St. Pancras International London 116
2 Zürich Central Station Zurich 111
3 Leipzig Central Station Leipzig 110
4 Roma Termini Rome 108
5 München Central Station Munich 103
6 Hamburg Central Station Hamburg 99
6 Berlin Central Station Berlin 99
8 Milano Centrale Milan 96
9 Moscow Kazansky Moscow 94
9 Frankfurt Central Station Frankfurt 94

The maximum possible score for a railway station is 139 points. Please see the methodology for for information.

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