Due to strict travel procedures and a decrease in the number of trains operating since March 2020, all EU member states have reported a sharp decrease in the number of passengers carried by train in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic period.
According to the latest data provided by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat), Ireland and Italy recorded the largest declines in passenger rail transport. In 2020, Ireland recorded a decrease of 64 percent, and Italy recorded a decrease of 57 percent, TheSchengen.com reports.
Among the other remaining EU member states, seven – Greece, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Austria and Slovenia – recorded declines of more than 40 percent over the same period.
Moreover, nine other countries recorded a decrease of 30-40 percent. These countries are Slovakia (-38.7 percent), Germany (-38.5 percent), Sweden (-36.1 percent), Finland (-35.8 percent), Denmark (-35.2 percent), and Lithuania (-35.1 percent). . Croatia (-33.9 per cent), the Czech Republic (-33.2 per cent) and Latvia (-30.9%).
On the other hand, Estonia (-28.5 percent), Romania (-27.7 percent) and Bulgaria (-21.2 percent) recorded the lowest declines compared to the above-mentioned countries.
Rail freight transport has also been affected due to COVID-19 restrictions that have been imposed to stem the spread of the virus. However, freight transport did not register an increasing decline in 2020. Indeed, some countries experienced an increase.
According to Eurostat, expressed in tons, five EU member states and Norway recorded an increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Among all countries, Ireland recorded the highest growth (+29.7 percent), followed by Bulgaria (+18.7 percent), Croatia (+29.7 percent), and Bulgaria (+18.7 percent). +3.8 percent), Sweden (+2.3 percent), and Denmark (+1.2 percent).
Five EU member states recorded an increase in freight transport by rail in 2020 compared to 2019. The highest growth rate is in Ireland (+30 per cent) and Bulgaria (+19 per cent). The highest drop in: Latvia (-42 percent), Estonia (-26 percent), Eurostat wrote on its official Twitter account.
Conversely, a significant decrease in rail freight transport was observed during 2020 in Latvia (-42 percent), followed by Estonia (-26 percent), Luxembourg (-17.7 percent), Spain (-16.5 percent), and Romania. (15.9 percent).
Germany was the country with the highest drop in freight transport by rail, with a drop of 20 million tons in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Eurostat previously revealed that the number of sea passengers was almost halved in 2020 compared to 2019. The number of passengers passing through EU ports registered a 44.9 percent decrease.