Design and evaluation of railway corridors based on spatial ecological and geological criteria

Transport infrastructure is closely linked to several sustainability issues of main policy relevance, and significant impacts on biodiversity as well as resource use and construction costs relate to the corridor design and location in the landscape. The aim of this study was to develop methods for railway corridor planning, in which corridor design and location would be based on important ecological and geological sustainability criteria. The method, an multi-criteria analysis (MCA) framework including both spatial and non-spatial MCA, was demonstrated on a railway planning proposition in an urbanising area north of Stockholm, Sweden. Alternative spatial alignments for 6 railway corridors were derived based on criteria representing biodiversity, resource efficiency and costs, developed from ecological and geological knowledge, data and models. The method identified a study area specific positive synergy between ecological and geological sustainability criteria. The evaluation part of the methodology could furthermore identify uncertainties in the input data and assumptions and conflicts between ecological criteria. In order to arrive at a well-informed decision support system, the criteria as well as the decision rules employed could be further elaborated. Other relevant sustainability issues would also need to be integrated, such as cultural landscapes, recreation, and other ecosystem services. Still, arriving at a corridor design informed by the ecological and geological conditions in the planned area, as demonstrated by this study, could improve the sustainability performance of transport infrastructure planning.


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  • Accession Number: 01603486
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 12:29PM