Commission adopts report on the development of the rail market

Commission report on the state of the EU rail market shows that rail passenger traffic continued to grow by 1.7% per year between 2009 and 2011, while rail freight traffic has not yet caught up the volumes preceding the economic crisis.

The Sixth Rail Market Monitoring Report (RMMS), adopted by the Commission on 6 February, shows that with regards to infrastructure the total length of the EU rail network in 2016 was around 221,000 line kilometres and about 54% of the EU network was electrified. The high-speed network stretched to over 8,400 line kilometres, having more than doubled in length between 2003 and 2017.

Between 2011 and 2016, the market share of competitor, i.e. the alternative operators to national incumbents, increased in most of the EU countries. In 2016, new rail freight operators competing with national incumbents were active in all countries except Greece, Ireland, Lithuania and Luxembourg, and in half of them the market share of competitors was more than 40%. With regards to passenger markets, only half of the Member States have competitors operating in the commercial passenger market.

The report shows that at the end of 2016 just over 1 million people were employed in the European railway sector. This workforce remains predominantly male; on average only 21% were women. In addition, the report highlights that the ageing of the workforce continues to be a concern, especially for Spain, Greece and Italy, where over 50% of the workforce were over 50 years old in 2016.