As a burgeoning literature on high-speed rail development indicates, good station-area planning is a very important prerequisite for the eventual successful operation of a high-speed rail station; it can also trigger opportunities for economic development in the station area and the station-city. At the same time, “on the ground” experiences from international examples of high-speed rail stations can provide valuable lessons for the California high-speed rail system in general, and the San Jose Diridon station in particular. This study identifies and draws lessons from European HSR stations that share similarities across several criteria with the San Jose area context. From an initial consideration of twenty European HSR stations, the researchers chose five stations for in depth case studies: Euralille and Lyon Part Dieu in France, Rotterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal in the Netherlands, and Torino Porta Susa in Italy. Additionally, the study drew information from relevant local actors and stakeholders to better tailor recommendations to the particular California context.Through the undertaking of different research tasks–literature review, case studies of European railway stations, survey of existing station plans and other planning documents for the Diridon station, station area analysis, and interviews with station area planners and designers–the study compiles timely recommendations for the successful planning of the Diridon station and other stations along the California high-speed rail corridor.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transit and Passenger Rail

MTI Project



High-speed rail, intermodal connectivity, operational connectivity, rail stations, spatial connectivity