Around 54 % of the EU network was electrified in 2016, with an additional 2 097 km of electrified route since 2011, an increase of 1.7 %, says the Sixth Rail Market Monitoring Report (RMMS), adopted by the European Commission on February 6. In the same year, the length of the railway network was 1.6 % lower than in 2011, totaling 221 000 line kilometres.
The EU’s high-speed network stretched to over 8 400 line kilometres by the end of 2017, and has more than doubled in length since 2003.
Total EU infrastructure expenditure rose from EUR 29 billion in 2011 to EUR 50 billion in 2015, falling by EUR 3.5 billion in 2016.
According to the report, the rail passenger traffic continued to grow by 1.7 % per year between 2009 and 2011. By 2016, EU passenger traffic volumes had reached 450 billion passenger kilometres out of around 6 trillion passenger kilometres of land transport overall.
By contract, the rail freight traffic struggled to recover from the significant drop in volumes experienced in 2009, the low point of the economic crisis. A peak in 2011 was followed by a slow recovery from 2012.
Between 2011 and 2016, the market share of competitor 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.
Photo: DB AG/Volker Emersleben