How rail in Asia Pacific can maximise ridership and revenues

Pierre-Yves Guillaume

Former Head of Rail Asia Pacific, Amadeus

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Recently, I was lucky enough to ride on China’s brand new high-speed rail link from Shanghai to Kunming. I landed at Pudong International Airport and took the world’s fastest train, the Transrapid maglev, into the city. From there, I made my way to the vast Shanghai Hongqiao Station, and was soon on the world’s longest high-speed line – accelerating through a picture-perfect landscape of snow-capped mountains, deep canyons, tropical forests and ethnic villages. It was as though I was glimpsing the future of rail.


The travel market in Asia Pacific is growing and evolving rapidly.Rail travelis keeping pace with this growth and has huge potential to play an even greater role in supplementing and complementing the wider travel industry to the benefit of the traveller.

And I had a real yearning to extend my journey – maybe continue through Laos to Thailand, from where I could head south through Malaysia, return east towards Vietnam, or west into the Indian sub-continent. Right now though, that would be a very long and fractured journey.

Near future predictions

But, in a few short years, it could be entirely different. With the right approach, rail in Asia Pacific could either be the driving force behind door-to-door travel or leapfrog air travel altogether for a convenient city-centre-to-city-centre experience. And, in any case, it should be an attractive option for experience-hungry inbound travellers.

In our latest rail report,Changing tracks - Five make-or-break factors to unlock rail travel in Asia Pacific, we take stock of the rapid development of the Asia Pacific rail market and identify five make-or-break factors that we believe can enable operators to tap their true potential and maximise ridership and revenues.

You can download therail paper hereto learn more about the clear opportunities and recommendations for Asia Pacific rail operators to capture a far bigger share of this vibrant industry.


Asia Pacific, Research