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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

3/30/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

International railway union releases global passenger-, freight-rail traffic figures for '08


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The International Union of Railways (UIC) recently released world rail traffic statistics for 2008, which show passenger-rail traffic increased in all continents while freight traffic declined in many nations.

In Europe, the number of passengers transported by rail rose 3 percent and number of passenger-kilometers traveled increased 4 percent compared with 2007. Spanish national railway RENFE posted a 10 percent gain in passenger-kilometers, due to the opening of a high-speed rail line between Madrid and Barcelona, while passenger traffic in Russia increased 1 percent.

In Asia, all major passenger-rail companies posted growth. Passenger-kilometers increased 2.4 percent in Japan, 7 percent in China and 11 percent in India.

On the freight side, European traffic steadily declined throughout 2008, and the continent ended the year with a 5 percent decrease in tonne-kilometers. However, freight-rail traffic increased 5 percent in Russia.

In China, freight-rail traffic rose 3.5 (half of 2007's growth rate), while traffic in India increased 8.4 percent.


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