Activity: Rail statistics

Economic Evaluation and Rail statistics need reliable data

Rail traffic volumes: In 2016, EU freight traffic volumes reached 419 billion tonne kilometres out of 2.5 trillion of land transport overall.
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 actually be provided.

On 18thApril 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, as well asrepresentatives of the Rail Sector, DG MOVE and ERA. Statistical data on Rail freight transport are publicly available and updated yearly (see Railway freight transport statistics for the actual main statistical findings).

Rail Market Monitoring Scheme (RMMS) Working Group

On 7th July 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:

Since then, the RMMS Report is published every two years to give an overview on the market developments and trends in passenger and freight rail transport. The RMMS report data is collected from the different Member States and sometimes combined with other sources (EUROSTAT, UIC, ITF...). The results may be used for impact assessments towards the development of new policies at European level. The 6th RMMS Reportwas published in February 2019 and the following conclusions were drawn:
  • Rail markets are gradually opening up and safety levels remain high. The industry is progressivelybecoming more performance-based, innovative and responsive to customer needs.However, freight volumes remain volatile and led to a loss of modal share in comparison with road transport in 2016. One of the main reasons is that the international nature of rail freight services makes them sensitive to interoperability barriers and cross-border coordination issues. The definitions used in EU rail legislation and beyond (PRIME, RMMS, UIC, IRG, …) are available in the EUROSTAT Glossary for more precise definitions used at international level. Information relevant to the safety and interoperability of the railways in the Member States (contact details of national authorities, safety certificates of RUs, ECM certificates, ETC.) is available on ERADIS.

Along with the RMMS, DG MOVE has set-up the high-level platform PRIME, which developed a comprehensive framework of infrastructure related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), on topics such as ERTMS, Safety or Punctuality. As established by the 4th Railway Package, it acts as the European Network of Infrastructure Managers to:
  • Develop Union rail infrastructure
  • Support the timely and efficient implementation of the single European railway area
  • Exchange best practices
  • Monitor and benchmark performance and contribute to the market monitoring
  • Tackle cross-border bottlenecks
  • Discuss application of charging systems and the allocation of capacity on more than one network

ERA Railway Indicators

In the ERA Working Group, UIP works together with National Safety Authorises and other Associations of the rail Sector to developed and define Railway Indicators, to be used to monitor and assess the implementation and practices by ERA and the Sector in the following four 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 yearly statistics tables on railway traffic, network lengths, number of vehicles covering not only the European but also the entire railway market (http://uic.org/statistics).

In order to support policy-makers in shaping the future of transport policies, UIP is planning to collect aggregated fleet data via its national associations. This should allow 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

6th report on monitoring development of the rail market – February 2019
DG Move - Statistical pocketbook 2018

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

by mmc | max mesmer. All Rights Reserved.