SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (3): 354-363.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2020.03.003

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Urban Time Accessibility of Railway Passenger Traffic Flow in China

Zhang Li, Zhao Yingjie, Lu Yuqi, Teng Ye   

  1. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2019-04-21 Revised:2019-08-31 Online:2020-03-10 Published:2020-05-13
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571120);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41430635)


Within region, accessibility refers to the degree of convenience which a particular transportation system can be used to reach other cities or regions. Railway passenger transport is an important part of China's long-distance passenger transport system. The opening and operation of the high-speed railway has shortened the travel time between cities along the line, and has a profound impact on regional spatial organization. Temporal distance has been widely applied to the evaluation of railway accessibility. Based on the railway passenger transport flow, this paper captures the shortest time between 315 cities in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) by using the network data of And this paper explores the spatial pattern of urban time accessibility and the spatial connections and hierarchical characteristics of the inter-city time accessibility through the network analysis and the spatial analysis of GIS. According to the result of time accessibility, it analyzes the isochronous rings and daily-communication-area of 31 central cities. The research indicates: 1) At present, China has 315 prefecture-level administrative units with railway passenger train stops. According to the natural discontinuity classification method, the time accessibility level is categorized into seven degrees,present a core-periphery sphere structure. The central area extends axially along the main railway line and high-speed railway line, which shows the strong influence of the ‘corridor’. The urban time accessibility of the eastern and central regions is better than the western region. 2) The city pairs with time accessibility less than 2 hours constitute a ‘Five vertical and five horizontal’ zonation pattern connected by Beijing-Guangzhou HSR, Beijing-Shanghai HSR, Beijing-Harbin HSR, Beijing-Fuzhou HSR, Hangzhou-Shenzhen HSR, Qingdao-Taiyuan HSR, Xuzhou-Lanzhou HSR, Shanghai-Wuhan-Chengdu HSR, Shanghai-Kunming HSR and Guangzhou-Kunming HSR lines. Cities with time accessibility less than 10 hours cover most of the southeast region of the ‘Hu Huanyong Line’ and the urban belt is transformed into the urban network. Cities with time accessibility longer than 10 hours are mainly connected to the eastern and western regions with a long spatial distance. 3) Daily-communication-area of central cities expand axially. And the corridor effect is obvious. It is divided into four degrees according to the number of cities included in the daily-communication-area. The daily-communication-area covers 227 cities which mainly distribute in the southeast of the ‘Hu Huanyong Line’. This paper divides 19 urban agglomerations and Lhasa city circle based on the daily-communication-area of 31 cities. Compared with the urban agglomeration development plan approved by the State Council, the scope of the urban agglomeration is highly consistent, which provides a reference for the division of urban agglomerations.

Key words: railway passenger traffic flow, time accessibility, daily-communication-area, GIS network analysis

CLC Number: 

  • K902