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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Passenger counts up, freight volumes down in 2005, international rail union says

Last year, European passenger traffic totaled 441.7 billion passengers per kilometer, a 1.6 percent increase compared with 2004, according to the International Union of Railways (UIC). Twenty-six European transit agencies posted ridership growth, including those in Estonia (up 29 percent), Bosnia, (up 18 percent), Ireland (up 13 percent) and Latvia (up 10 percent).

France’s Societe Nationale de Chemins de fer Fran Yais (SNCF) continued to lead the pack, carrying 76.5 billion passengers per kilometer, a 3.3 percent increase compared with 2004.

Meanwhile, European freight traffic dipped slightly to 653.6 billion tons per kilometer. Eighteen railroads registered gains and 16 posted declines.

Railroads in southeastern Europe posted the largest increases because open borders are helping to boost international traffic, UIC said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/15/2006