Next Article in Journal
Extracting Indoor Space Information in Complex Building Environments
Previous Article in Journal
BIM-GIS Integration as Dedicated and Independent Course for Geoinformatics Students: Merits, Challenges, and Ways Forward
Open AccessArticle

Exploring Railway Network Dynamics in China from 2008 to 2017

by Yaping Huang 1,2, Shiwei Lu 1,2,*, Xiping Yang 3,4 and Zhiyuan Zhao 5,6
School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
Hubei Engineering and Technology Research Center of Urbanization, Wuhan 430074, China
School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
Geomatics Technology and Application key Laboratory of Qinghai Province, Xining 810001, China
National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Geo-spatial Information Technology, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350002, China
Key Laboratory of Spatial Data Mining & Information Sharing of MOE, Fuzhou 350002, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(8), 320;
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
China’s high speed rail (HSR) network has been rapidly constructed and developed during the past 10 years. However, few studies have reported the spatiotemporal changes of railway network structures and how those structures have been affected by the operation of high speed rail systems in different periods. This paper analyzes the evolving network characteristics of China’s railway network during each of the four main stages of HSR development over a 10-year period. These four stages include Stage 1, when no HSR was in place prior to August 2008; Stage 2, when several HSR lines were put into operation between August 2008, and July 2011; Stage 3, when the network skeleton of most main HSR lines was put into place. This covered the period until January 2013. Finally, Stage 4 covers the deep intensification of several new HSR lines and the rapid development of intercity-HSR railway lines between January 2013, and July 2017. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the timetable-based statistical properties of China’s railway network, as well as the spatiotemporal patterns of the more than 2700 stations that have been affected by the opening of HSR lines and the corresponding policy changes. Generally, we find that the distribution of both degrees and strengths are characterized by scale-free patterns. In addition, the decreasing average path length and increasing network clustering coefficient indicate that the small world characteristic is more significant in the evolution of China’s railway network. Correlations between different network indices are explored, in order to further investigate the dynamics of China’s railway system. Overall, our study offers a new approach for assessing the growth and evolution of a real railway network based on train timetables. Our study can also be referenced by policymakers looking to adjust HSR operations and plan future HSR routes. View Full-Text
Keywords: high speed rail; network structure; complex network; China high speed rail; network structure; complex network; China
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, Y.; Lu, S.; Yang, X.; Zhao, Z. Exploring Railway Network Dynamics in China from 2008 to 2017. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 320.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop