The train with stops on demand connecting Lleida to La Pobla was launched to develop a sustainable tourist model and to facilitate mobility for inhabitants.
The railway line Lleida - La Pobla de Segur has a full history. It currently connects some municipalities located in the High Pyrenees, between Lleida and La Pobla de Segur. Once reaching La Pobla de Segur, the train has passed 41 tunnels and 31 bridges.
The train with stops on demand improve the flexibility and efficiency of the service, to access to the rural areas with tourist interest and to complete the last mile using an alternative transport mode different to the private car. There are very important campaigns to promote the service, for example 'Lo tren de tots'.
The main characteristics are:
• Fixed route and regular timetable with stops on demand between fixed stops.
• Connection with the fast train to Barcelona and Madrid
• Timetable based on actual transport demand, with no services at times of least demand or when routes are covered by buses
• Coordination with the other forms of public transport (connection between train and busses)
• Constant quality control measured on a daily basis
• The rail staff is being trained to perform multiple functions, which optimizes the work and minimizes the workforce (good example for other regions)
• Special adjustments of the couches and platforms for disabled people and well-fitting bikers needs
The Government of Catalonia has bought 3 new trains for a total of 15M€ and has also invested 1,5M€ to improve the train stations and accessibility.
Evidence of success
The railway line is constantly used by locals and tourists.
The number of passengers from January to September 2017 was 156,251. The number of passengers of the same period in 2018 increased about 3,1% to 161.159 passangers, that means 4,908 more passengers on trains (panoramic or classical locomotives). The reasons for the increase is the improvement on the infrastructure and the progressive implementation of the new trains, which makes the service much more interesting and efficient.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is interesting for other regions, because:
• It brings accessibility to the less connected areas (small villages, point of interest )
• It is a ‘custom made’ solution – very well examined and diagnosed needs of users with the right cost effective approach
• It facilitates intermodal transport chains (e.g. changes from bus to train)
• It provides a high standard of service with relatively low workforce (staff trained to perform multiple functions)
• It applies a holistic approach with well-defined aims and goals to improve FGC (the Catalan Government Railways) on many levels (improvement of the stations, new sale and validation systems, marketing campaign, associated tourism packages, plan for historical building renovations etc.)
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