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Title: EU rail transport statistics
Sectors of Transport: Transport, Transport, European statistics, Rail transport
EU rail transport statistics

EU rail transport statistics



Regulation (EU) 2018/643 on rail transport statistics


  • It applies to all railways in the EU.
  • It establishes common rules for producing EU-wide rail transport statistics.
  • It recasts and repeals Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 which had been substantially amended several times.


EU countries:

  • must report statistics for all rail transport on their territory and break these down by country if the service is international;
  • may exclude from the statistics railways which
    • operate within industrial zones or harbours
    • provide local tourist services, such as historical steam trains;
  • coordinate the data sources used and ensure the quality of the statistics;
  • send the statistics to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.

The statistics required cover:

  • quarterly and annual data on goods and passengers carried, including per kilometre;
  • an annual breakdown by region every 5 years of goods and passengers transported;
  • traffic flows every 5 years on the number of goods and passenger trains;
  • detailed classification of the different types of goods, including dangerous items.

The national information collected by a public or private body may come from:

  • compulsory surveys;
  • administrative or regulatory data;
  • statistical estimation procedures;
  • professional rail organisations;
  • ad hoc studies.


  • sends out the statistics based on the data it receives;
  • develops and publishes methodology to help national authorities collect quality data.

The European Commission:


It has applied since 22 May 2018. Regulation (EU) 2018/643 revised and replaced Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 (and its subsequent amendments).


The Commission needs rail statistics to monitor and develop the common transport policy, including trans-European networks, and if necessary, to act to improve rail transport safety.

Common concepts and standards ensure national statistics are comparable and help avoid duplication.


Regulation (EU) 2018/643 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 April 2018 on rail transport statistics (recast) (OJ L 112, 2.5.2018, pp. 1-18)


Directive (EU) 2016/798 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on railway safety (OJ L 138, 26.5.2016, pp. 102-149)

Successive changes to Directive (EU) 2016/798 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Directive 2012/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 establishing a single European railway area (OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, pp. 32-77)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics and repealing Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, and Council Decision 89/382/EEC, Euratom establishing a Committee on the Statistical Programmes of the European Communities (OJ L 87, 31.3.2009, pp. 164-173)

See consolidated version.

Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification (Railway Safety Directive) (OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, pp. 44-113). Text republished in corrigendum (OJ L 220, 21.6.2004, pp. 16-39)

See consolidated version.

last update 04.03.2019

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