08. April 2016

Germans among Europe’s most frequent rail travellers

European comparison: Austrians and Swiss travel the most by train

Europe’s citizens travel an average distance of 961 kilometres by train every year. Germans make more use of the train.

Berlin, April 8, 2016. Germany belongs to a group of seven European countries in which citizens travel an average of more than a thousand kilometres per year by train. According to the latest report presented by the European independent rail regulator IRG-Rail, people in Switzerland and Austria were Europe’s keenest rail travellers. The figures show that in 2014, Swiss citizens travelled an average of 2,429 kilometres by train. Austrians came second with 1,426 kilometres. Third place went to the French, who travelled an average of 1,361 kilometres. Germany was sixth placed, behind Denmark and Sweden, with 1,115 kilometres per citizen and therefore above the average of 961 kilometres that each European citizen travels by train.

EU comparison: railway-kilometres per person

EU-Vergleich Eisenbahn-Kilometer pro Kopf - Vielfahrer

“Germans are in the top league of rail travellers in Europe,” said the managing director of the German Pro-Rail Alliance, Dirk Flege, on Friday in Berlin. “Statistically, every German travels the annual equivalent of a return journey from Berlin to Rome by train. However, the figures from Switzerland and Austria show that there is still a lot room for improvement.” Flege pointed out that “both our neighbours have transport policies that decisively favour the environmentally friendly railways”. In order for Germany to one day become an Eldorado for rail travellers, transport policies need to be introduced that will bring about a trend reversal. “Expansion of rail infrastructure, more services that will encourage people to switch from their cars to the railways, and fairer competitive conditions between rail, road and aviation. By setting such a policy agenda, our traditionally car-oriented country could certainly develop into a pioneer for modern, sustainable transport,” said Flege. “Unfortunately, Germany’s ambitious transition to sustainable energy will be left hanging in the air without equivalent changes in transport.”


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