Activity: Rail statistics

Economic Evaluation and Rail statistics need reliable data

European transport policies require impact assessments or regular monitoring of implementation and performance.  For this there is a strong need for data on rail transport, including infrastructure, rolling stock, freight services, and rail freight performance.  At European level, DG MOVE, EUROSTAT and ERA started activities on synergies and streamlining of data in order to avoid gaps, duplication, inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Data is usually provided voluntarily or mandatorily by Member States (Regulatory Bodies, NSAs, or National Statistical Bodies) or the Sector Associations and individual railway actors. The biggest challenge is to find a common understanding on the type of data that is required and an agreement on the type data that can be provided in reality.

On 18 April 2018, Regulation (EU) 2018/643 on rail transport statistics was adopted, repealing Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 with a view to further facilitating the production of harmonised data and official statistics at European level. To this end, dedicated cooperation agreements on statistical activities will be established between the Commission's services and relevant entities, including at international level. The Regulation requires Member States to report statistics on rail transport (e.g. type of transport, number of passengers, number of trains transporting goods, tonnes of goods) on their national territory which they will in turn receive from railway undertakings operating in their country. In addition, the Regulation delegates the power to adapt the existing or additional technical definitions to the European Commission. It further confers implementing powers on the Commission as regards the specification of the information to be supplied for the reports on the quality and comparability of the results. EUROSTAT is responsible for the dissemination of those results.  

EUROSTAT Working Group on Rail Transport Statistics

EUROSTAT is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to the institutions of the European Union (EU) and to promote the harmonisation of statistical methods across its member states and candidates for accession as well as EFTA countries. The Eurostat working group brings together Member State Representatives, their National Statistical Authorities, and Representatives of the Rail Sector, DG MOVE and ERA. Statistical data on Rail freight transport are publicly availbale and updated yearly (see Railway freight transport statistics for the actual main statistical findings).

Rail Market Monitoring Scheme (RMMS) Working Group

On July 7 2015 the European Commission adopted an Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1100 on the reporting obligations of the Member States in the framework of rail market monitoring. This falls part of Art. 15 of the recast of the 1st Railway Package. The scope of data that is collected includes:

  • Infrastructure charging for passenger and freight services
  • Noise abatement measures: general reporting
  • Capacity allocation (provided and rejected) for passenger and freight services
  • Infrastructure expenditures including freight terminals
  • Revenue from passenger and freight services
  • Quality of services
  • Degree of market opening for passenger and freight
  • Employment and social conditions
  • Service facilities

The second set of data collected, covering the activities of 2016 was presented by DG MOVE at the 35th meeting of the RMMS Working Group in March 2018. In terms of content, Member States’ inputs were more complete than in the previous exercises despite some issues remaining on confidentiality and availability of data. For the third reporting cycle the submission of data for 2017 is due to start in October 2018. The adoption of the 6th RMMS Report, thematically focussing on customer satisfaction, is expected to be published in November after a final review within the RMMS WG during a meeting beforehand. The 36th RMMS WG meeting should serve as well to discuss potential amendments to Regulation 2015/1100.

By summer 2018, final (adjusted) definitions will be available in the EUROSTAT Glossary aligning them with the definitions used in EU rail legislation and beyond (PRIME, RMMS, UIC, IRG, …) in order to have more precise definitions used at international level.

Due to some persisting mismatches between ERADIS and RMMS data (different reporting systems in place), ERA will share ERADIS figures on RUs licences per country with the MS before the data gathering exercise opens in October 2018. This will allow MS to check the results ex ante.

Along with the RMMS, DG MOVE has set-up together with a group of Infrastructure Managers a high-level platform called PRIME, which is developing a comprehensive framework of infrastructure related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), on topics such as ERTMS, Safety or Punctuality. However, the first (non-pilot) data collection round in 2017, highlighted its potential overlaps with the RMMS. If PRIME data on these overlapping indicators were complete (i.e. covering the main IMs of all Member States), covering sufficient part of the national market and public, then DG MOVE could use PRIME data and stop collecting this information from the Member States via the RMMS.

ERA Railway Indicators

In the ERA Working Group UIP worked together with other National Safety Authorises and other Associations of the rail Sector to developed and define Railway Indicators, which are to be used to monitor and assess the implementation and practices by ERA and the Sector in the following 4 Strategic areas/activities:

  • Harmonised Safety Framework (incl. questions relevant to ECM)
  • Removal of Technical Barriers (related to Vehicle Authorisation)
  • Single EU Train Control and Communication System (related to ERTMS)
  • Simplified Access to Customers (related to TAF, Registers, Data Exchange)

Significance to UIP and our Members

As a key player in the railway system, UIP wants to assure that transport policy is built on accurate, reliable and conclusive data that truly represents the sector, its assets, its performance, and its technical, operational and business needs. UIP takes part in three main working groups: Rail Market Monitoring Scheme RMMS Working Group (DGMOVE), EUROSTAT Working Group on Rail Transport Statistics, Economic Evaluation Working Party at the European Railway Agency. In addition, the UIC publishes also yearly statistics tables on railway traffic, network lengths, number of vehicles covering not only the European but also the entire railway market (

In order to support policy-makers in shaping the future of transport policies, UIP is planning to collect aggregated fleet data via its Topical Committee Economic Evaluation. This should allow as well to increase credibility and awareness about the business cases for independent Wagon Keepers and avoid distortions and amalgams in data analysis. 

EU Documents of interest

DG Move - Statistical pocketbook 2017
5th RMMS report on monitoring development of the rail marketAccompanying Commission Staff Document - December 2016
Regulation (EU) 2018/643 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 April 2018 on rail transport statistics - May 2018
Implementing Regulation 2015/1100 on the reporting obligations in the framework of rail market monitoring - July 2015