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Rail transport statistics

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Rail transport statistics

The objective of this regulation is to define a set of common rules for European Union (EU) rail transport statistics.


Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on rail transport statistics [See amending acts].


The Commission requires statistics on freight transport and rail transport of passengers as well as rail accidents in order to ensure the monitoring and development of the common transport policy and the preparation of measures in the field of transport safety.

The scope of this regulation covers all railway undertakings in the European Union (EU). Each EU country must report statistics which relate to rail transport on its national territory. EU countries may exclude from the scope of this regulation:

  • railway undertakings which operate entirely or mainly within industrial and similar installations;
  • railway undertakings which provide local tourist services.

The statistics to be collected are set out in Annexes A to H to this regulation. The main tables setting out the annual statistics on goods and passenger transport are shown in Annexes A to D, and the quarterly statistics are shown in Annex E. Annexes F and G show the regional statistics and statistics on traffic flows on the rail network and Annex H shows statistics on accidents.

For each type of data, the corresponding annex specifies:

  • the list of variables and the corresponding units of measurement;
  • the reference periods and frequency;
  • the list of tables with the breakdown for each table;
  • the deadlines for transmission of data;
  • the first reference period for which data are to be transmitted;
  • where necessary, additional comments.

EU countries must also provide a list of the railway undertakings for which statistics are provided, as specified in Annex I. Goods must be classified in accordance with Annex J and dangerous goods must additionally be classified in accordance with Annex K. The contents of the annexes may be adapted by the Commission.

Although the national authorities (national statistical institutes) are responsible for the coordination and quality control of the statistics transmitted to Eurostat, EU countries may designate any public or private organisation to participate in collecting the data. Different sources (surveys, administrative data, etc.) may be used in any combination to obtain the required statistics. The statistics are transmitted to Eurostat by the EU countries.

The regulation provides for the dissemination of all data specified in Annexes A to H, so long as the data is already available to the EU public or approval has been explicitly given in advance for such disclosure by the undertakings concerned. Information reported under Annex I may not be disseminated.

Eurostat develops and publishes methodological recommendations (taking account of the best practices in the rail sector) to assist EU countries in maintaining the quality of statistics in this domain. The quality of the statistical data is evaluated by Eurostat.

After data have been collected over three years, the Commission has sent a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the quality and costs of the statistics, the benefits of their availability and the burden on undertakings.

The Commission will be assisted by the Statistical Programme Committee.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 91/2003



OJ L 14 of 21.1.2003

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1192/2003



OJ L 167 of 4.7.2003

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009



OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on experience acquired in the application of Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on rail transport statistics [ COM(2007)832 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 332/2007 of 27 March 2007 on the technical arrangements for the transmission of railway transport statistics [Official Journal L 88 of 29.3.2007].


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail transport statistics, as regards the collection of data on goods, passengers and accidents [ COM(2013)611 final of 30.8.2013 - not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission needs detailed statistics on the transport of goods and passengers by rail to monitor the targets set out in the Commission’s 2011 White Paper. Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area.

This proposal aims to amend Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 in order to update, simplify and optimise the existing legal framework for European statistics on rail transport. The suggested changes include:

  • data on the transport of passengers: there would be no more simplified reporting; shorter deadlines for providing final passenger data;
  • data on transport of goods: no more simplified reporting;
  • data on accidents: as these are also collected by the European Rail Agency, there is no need for duplication;
  • Thresholds: the present thresholds are established for tonne-km and passenger-km, i.e. multiplication of tonnes/passengers transported and the distance covered in kilometres. As much rail activity involves only small distances in some Member States, it is proposed to decrease the thresholds both for goods and passengers, so as to minimise the loss of important data. For the same reason, a double threshold in tonnes transported and in tonne-km is proposed for goods.

Last updated: 07.04.2014