Train station of the future – sustainable mobility hub and a place with quality of stay

 Bahnhofsuhr. Foto: SC-Photo -

How can train stations in municipalities be designed in such a way that they become attractive interfaces for sustainable multimodal mobility and at the same time can be experienced as diverse, lively places to stay? This is what ISOE is investigating on behalf of the German Centre for Rail Transport Research at the Federal Railway Authority and in cooperation with designated partners. The aim is to develop a modular catalogue of measures for the design of railway stations. 

Research approach

The study conducts various social-empirical surveys to elicit user needs and requirements with regard to stations as multimodal interfaces. Based on this, measures will be systematically developed that not only focus on the technical side of the mobility function of stations, such as signposting, safety or accessibility, but also take into account symbolic-emotional aspects, such as design and appearance, lighting or cleanliness. The feasibility and effects of these measures will be assessed in a feasibility study and tested by interviewing potential users in virtual reality simulations using 2D visualisations of station areas. The modular catalogue of measures is to be tailored to the needs of different users as well to a practical implementation and flexible applicability for various types of stations with different kinds of equipment and in a variety of locations.


Trains as a means of transport play an extremely important role in the mobility transition. There is a particular focus on linking rail transport with other modes of transport that are as environmentally friendly as possible, such as trams, buses, bicycles or sharing services, in order for example to be able to cover the “last mile”. Today, however, train stations as “flagships” of rail transport do in many respects not meet the demands of passengers or other guests at the station. Therefore, the modernisation of railway stations offers, on the one hand, the opportunity to turn them into interfaces of sustainable, multimodal mobility as municipal mobility hubs. On the other hand, stations and their surroundings can be used as meeting points and places for cultural events, gastronomy and leisure, offering different users a better quality of stay and thus increasing the attractiveness of future rail mobility. 

Project partner

  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy gGmbH
  • Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach – Designinstitut für Mobilität und Logistik (DML)
  • Nuts One GmbH, Berlin
  • Gateways, Amsterdam
  • aproxima Gesellschaft für Markt- und Sozialforschung Weimar GmbH


The project “Station of the Future as the Core of Multimodal Mobility Hubs in Municipalities – Development of a Catalogue of Measures” is commissioned by Deutsches Zentrum für Schienenverkehrsforschung (DZSF) beim Eisenbahn-Bundesamt (EBA).


2022/03 – 2025/02