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Growth and hierarchy of the Railway Network: lessons from network science in the France between 1860 and 1930

Authors: Christophe MIMEUR*, MRTE Cergy Paris University
Topics: Quantitative Methods, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Transportation Geography
Keywords: gis,spatial modeling,network,graph,france,transportation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 8:15 AM / 9:30 AM
Room: Virtual Track 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Territorial impacts of infrastructure development have been analyzed in the both academic and non-academic literature (Kasrian, 2016). This paper is questioning the lessons of network science to identify patterns in the growth of the French Railway Network, by studying the speed revolution in the 19th century.
Network science is questioning universal rules and properties of networks, such as self-organization (Xie, 2009) and tools are plentiful to analyze the efficient design of networks. Territorial networks are suggesting complex relationships between space and network: they are answering technical and socio-economic issues. Economists has studied these questions in urban structures but empirical cases are lacking (Levinson, Yerra, 2006). In national context, these relationships have also to deal with spatial heterogeneity and studies are suffering by the lack of historical and spatial databases (Kasrian, 2016).
This paper purposes to use tools of graph theory to define some rules of the growth and evolution of the French Railway Network. We identify two main phases: the construction of a primary network, which is relying main places and the expansion of the network, by building local liness. This work is using the FRANcE database (Mimeur, 2016) to evaluate accessibility measures and use indicators of graph theory.
The results are discussing two contradictory forces. The first one is the role of politics and local planning in the geometry of the French network, to serve the largest number of people. The second one is the emergence of hierarchical structure to answer economic and political arbitration.

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