ITF’s Statistics Brief describes longer-term developments in the different transport modes, as measured by data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD.
Focus on railways
Rail freight tonne-km grew 3% in the OECD countries in 2011, reaching pre-crisis levels. In the United States, rail freight volumes increased by 3% nearly reaching the 2008 level. The Russian Federation and China recorded a 6% and 7% growth in 2011 respectively. The United States, Russia and China account for nearly 80% of total estimated global rail freight. Preliminary 2012 data for rail freight, based on our quarterly statistics, indicate stagnation in Europe and freight volume growth turning negative in the United States.
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Rail passenger-kilometres fell around 2% both in the OECD and the EU area in 2009 after which the volume recovered back to the pre-crisis levels by 2011. However, there are marked differences in growth rate between individual countries. Outside Europe, available data for Russian Federation and Japan show close to zero growth in 2011. Rail passenger-kilometres continue to show strong growth in China and India with 10% and 8% increase respectively in 2011 compared with 2010 (Figure 9). India and China account for nearly 70% of the estimated global rail passenger transport. Preliminary data for 2012 show that passenger rail traffic for the EU area has remained stable in 2012 at near pre-crisis levels.