Wednesday 14 June 2023

Information from the Statistics Platform – June 2023

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The Steering Committee of the Statistics Platform held its spring meeting on 23-24 May 2023 in Valencia, Spain, at the Technological Training Centre, thanks to the infrastructure manager Adif hosting the event.

The meeting began with a presentation about Adif, given by Francisco Contreras and Paula Cuadrillero Menéndez [1], with an overview of Spain’s national railway sector and its organisational structure, the roles of and relationships between the main institutional bodies such as the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the regulator body CNMC, and the National Safety Agency. Then, a presentation of the Spanish network was given, including major datapoints, several maps of the different track gauges in Spain, as well as the evolution of the existing high-speed lines, the latest commissions on the high-speed network and the travel time saved per axis. Finally, the organisational chart for Adif’s management with the company’s mission and vision were presented, with a specific mention given to the International Department and the international organisations which Adif participates in.

Next, the work progress of each of the four Statistics Platform working groups (WGs) was addressed.

Participation in the “Task Force on Data Quality” supervised by the ERA Economic Steering Group

In recent months, one of the main activities of the Statistics WG 1 (Harmonisation of statistical concepts) has been its collaboration with the ERA Economic Steering Group within the “Task Force on Data Quality”. As part of this, UIC contributed to the work of Subgroup 4 on “Railway Statistics”, which was co-chaired by ERA and Eurostat. The participants were representatives from the European Commission (DG MOVE and Eurostat), the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), PRIME, OECD (ITF), and UNECE, as well as from national regulators and safety agencies.

The main objective of Subgroup 4 was to improve the comparability of key railway statistics published by various organisms through the clarification of definitions, scopes, and sources of input data. ERA focused on 21 indicators, 13 of which concerned UIC, e.g. line-km and passenger-km. For each indicator, an inventory of the statistics providers (e.g. member states, regulatory bodies, IMs, RUs), the data collection cycles, market segments, definitions applied, legal bases (e.g. EU regulation/directive or national legislation) and geographical scope was made.

After detailed analysis of the information and data itself were conducted, recommendations to data providers were made for each indicator (scope, definitions, data access and provision…), which can be found in the ESG-TF-Data quality report, pp 28-51 [2].

The committee took note of the recommendations and will continue its efforts to align UIC definitions with Eurostat’s where applicable.

Collaboration with the Sustainability Platform

Increasing data collection to document the sustainability of rail transport is another key topic, and is managed by the Statistics WG2. In this context, the latest developments in the field of EU-level sustainability reporting (ESRS) [3] are being addressed and the committee recommends reporting harmonisation and unification be a priority for the members. As part of this, the Statistics Platform will closely collaborate with the Sustainability Platform, especially in terms of the RSi (Rail Sustainability index) and TEE (Traction Energy and Emissions) activities. For the next International Railway Statistics – 2022 data collection cycle, “Table 81 – Energy Consumption by Rail Tractive Stock” will be open to infrastructure managers to complete. In this questionnaire, data on diesel consumption will also be collected, and the committee questioned if there is a need to collect data on biofuels. Further investigation will be made into the use of alternative biofuels and the mixing ratio with fossil fuels within member companies. A survey will be submitted to the statistics correspondents on this subject.

Other activities and decisions

As part of the simplification of the station classification method (see UIC Leaflet 180), the Committee decided to set up a pilot questionnaire to replace “Table 14 – Stations and stops for passenger traffic on the infrastructure manager’s network”. Thus, for the next data collection cycle, the stations will be categorised according to the type of rail services (international, intercity, regional, and suburban trains).

Additionally, in the different statistics documents (e.g. synopsis), the regional divisions will be harmonised, and the explanatory notes will be clarified, especially those concerning the definition of the rail tunnels and bridges, as well as descriptions and explanations being added to the financial indicators.

Developments are ongoing for Railisa concerning data protection regulations and new elements in the functionality of infographics.

The next Steering Committee meeting will take place in Gdansk, Poland, on 18-19 October 2023 and will be hosted by PKP.

UIC members are invited to continue providing their data using our online tool:

To download UIC data, visit Railisa:

For any information concerning the statistics at the UIC, please send an email to

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