List of countries by rail usage

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Map of the world with rail density (length of rail network divided by area of country) highlighted. This does not necessarily reflect actual rail use.

This is a list of countries by rail usage. Rail usage may be measured in tonne-kilometres (tkm) or passenger-kilometres (pkm) travelled for freight and passenger transport respectively. This is the number of tonnes or passengers multiplied by the average distance of their journeys in kilometres.

Overview[edit]

Almost 10,000 billion freight tonne-kilometres are travelled around the world. Roughly one quarter of these are travelled in the United States, another quarter in China, and a third in Russia. Of the 3,000bn passenger-kilometres travelled across the world, 1,158bn of these are travelled solely in India. The average Swiss person travels 2,430 km by train each year, almost 500 more than the average Japanese person (the Japanese having the second-highest average kilometres travelled per passenger in the world).

In 2014 there were around 1 million kilometres of railway in the world (a decrease of 3% compared to 2013). Of this, 350,000 km were in Europe and mainly used for passenger service, 370,000 km were in North America and mainly used for freight, and 230,000 km were in Asia and used for both freight and passenger service.[1] In America and Europe, there are many low cost airlines and motorways which compete with rail for passenger traffic, while Asia has seen a large growth in high-speed rail with 257bn pkm representing 72% of total world high-speed rail passenger traffic.[1]

Passenger rail[edit]

These figures do not include metro railway systems; see Lists of rapid transit systems for metro rail statistics.

Passenger-kilometres of rail transport per year[edit]

Countries with more than five billion passenger-kilometres (tkm) travelled per year. Unless otherwise specified, data come from the Railway Statistics 2015 Report by the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Rank Country/Region Billion passenger-kilometres Data year
1  China 1,346[2] 2017
2  India 1,147 2015
3  Japan 427[3] 2015
4  Russia 120.4 2014
5  France 83.2 2015
6  Germany 79.3 2015
7  United Kingdom 66.0[4] 2016
8  Italy 40.4 2015
9  Ukraine 37.1 2015
10  Spain 25.9 2015
11  South Korea 23.1 2015
12  Pakistan 20.3 2015
13  Taiwan 19.8 2015
14   Switzerland 18.8 2015
15  Indonesia 18.5 2015
16  Netherlands 17.8 2015
17  Poland 17.6 [5] 2015
18  Iran 16.3 2014
19  Kazakhstan 16.6 2011
20  Austria 11.6 2015
21  Belgium 10.3 2015
22  United States 10.3[note 1] 2010
23  Belarus 7.2 2015
24  Thailand 7.5 2011
25  Bangladesh 7.3 2010
26  Czech Republic 7.2 2015
27  Sweden 6.3 2015
28  Turkey 4.8 2015
29  Denmark 6.0 2015
30  Hungary 5.7 2015
31  Morocco 5.3[citation needed] 2014
 World 2,954 2014
 Europe 583.7 2015

Passengers carried in rail transport per year[edit]

Countries with more than 20 million passengers per year. Unless otherwise specified, data come from the Railway Statistics 2015 Report by the International Union of Railways.

Rank Country Million passengers Data year Notes
1 Japan Japan 9,090 2015
2 India India 8,224 2015
3 Germany Germany 2,007 2015
4 United Kingdom United Kingdom 1,731 2016[6] The London Underground ("The Tube") had an additional 1.34 billion passengers in 2015-16[7]
5 China China 1,544 2015 Beijing Metro alone had 3.41 billion passengers in 2014.[8]
6 France France 1,123 2015
7  Russia 1,020 2015 Moscow Metro alone had 2.45 billion passengers in 2014[9]
8 Italy Italy 622 2015
9  Spain 571 2015
10   Switzerland 488 2015
11  Ukraine 399 2014
12  Netherlands 320 2015
13  Poland 280 2015 Passengers carried by all rail passenger transport companies in Poland.[5]
14  Taiwan 277 2015
15  Austria 248 2015
16  Belgium 232 2015
17  Indonesia 198 2008
18  Denmark 192 2015
19  Czech Republic 179 2016 [10]
20  South Korea 134 2015
21  Hungary 132 2015
22  Portugal 112 2015
23  Belarus 92 2014
24  Turkey 78 2014
25  Israel 64.6[11] 2017 Heavy rail only. The Jerusalem Light Rail had an additional 42.5 million passengers in 2017.[12]
26  Romania 61 2015
27  Thailand 50 2017[13]
28  Malaysia 40 2011
29  United States 31 2015 Amtrak had 30.8 million passengers in the year 2014-15.[14] Among regional systems that report to the American Public Transportation Association, there were 3.945 billion metro/subway riders, 529.6 million commuter rail riders, and 489.8 million light rail/streetcar riders in 2015.[15]
30  Croatia 22 2015
31  Luxembourg 20 2015

Passenger modal share for rail[edit]

The modal share of railway transport (excluding tram & metro) as compared to other modes of transport.

Rank Country Modal share (%) year
1  Japan 30.5 2009[16]
2   Switzerland 17.2 2012[17]
3  Austria 11.5 2012[17]
4  Denmark 10.1 2012[17]
5  Hungary 10.1 2012[17]
6  United Kingdom 9.6 2014[18]
7  France 9.5 2012[17]
8  Sweden 9.1 2012[17]
9  Germany 9.0 2012[17]
10  Netherlands 8.8 2012[17]
11  Czech Republic 8.4 2012[17]
12  Belgium 8.0 2010[19]
13  Bulgaria 7.1 2012[17]
14  Slovakia 7.1 2012[17]
15  Indonesia 6.3 2005[20]
16  Italy 6.1 2012[17]
17  Spain 5.6 2012[17]
18  Finland 5.3 2012[17]
19  Russia 5.0 2014[21]
20  Romania 4.9 2012[17]
21  Latvia 4.8 2012[17]
22  Poland 4.8 2012[17]
23  Norway 4.7 2012[17]
24  Luxembourg 4.6 2012[17]
25  Portugal 4.1 2012[17]
26  Croatia 3.5 2012[17]
27  Ireland 2.8 2012[17]
28  Slovenia 2.3 2012[17]
29  Estonia 1.8 2012[17]
30  Turkey 1.7 2012[17]
31  Macedonia 1.5 2012[17]
32  Lithuania 0.8 2012[17]
33  Greece 0.7 2012[17]
34  United States 0.3 2004[22]

Passenger rail by passenger-kilometres per capita[edit]

Countries with more than five billion passenger-kilometres travelled per year.

Country Kilometers/year Year
  Switzerland 2430.9 2013[23][24]
 Japan 1,995
 Denmark 1,329
 France 1,298[25] 2014
 Austria 1,245
 Russia 1,220
 Ukraine 1,150
 Belarus 1,030
 Belgium 1,009
 United Kingdom 981[26] 2015
 Germany 959[27] 2014
 Netherlands 940
 Kazakhstan 880
 Italy 780
 India 777
 Hungary 690
 Czech Republic 660
 China 653
 South Korea 650
 Sweden 620
 Egypt 550
 Spain 460
 Poland 450
 Taiwan 410
 Romania 380
 Iran 180
 Argentina 170
 Pakistan 160
 Thailand 150
 Indonesia 110
 Turkey 80
 United States 80

Freight rail[edit]

Tonne-kilometres of rail transport per year[edit]

Tonne-km of selected carriers in the European Union, 2003

Countries with more than one billion tonne-kilometres (tkm) travelled per year. Unless otherwise specified, data come from the Railway Statistics 2014 Report by the International Union of Railways.

Rank Country Billion tkm Data year
1  China 2,696[28] 2017
2  United States 2,326[29] 2016
3  Russia 2,306[30] 2015
4  India 666 2014
5  Canada 352 2011
6  Brazil 267 2014
 European Union 261 2014
7  Ukraine 237 2011
8  Kazakhstan 236 2012
9  Australia 198[31] 2008
10  South Africa 135 2014
11  Mexico 81[32] 2014
12  Germany 75 2014
13  Belarus 45 2014
14  Poland 32 2014
15  France 32 2014
16  United Kingdom 24.4[33] 2014
17  Uzbekistan 22 2012
18  Iran 22 2013
19  Sweden 21.1[34] 2014
20  Japan 21[32] 2014
21  Austria 16 2014
22  Latvia 15 2014
23  Lithuania 14 2014
24  Argentina 12 2010
25  Turkmenistan 12 2012
26  Colombia 12 2009
27  Turkey 11 2014
28  South Korea 10 2013
29  Italy 10 2014
30  Czech Republic 10 2014
31  Finland 9.6[1] 2014
32   Switzerland 9 2014
33  Azerbaijan 8 2014
34  Spain 8 2014
35  Mauritania 8 2010
36  Indonesia 7 2010
37  Netherlands 6[35] 2013
38  Morocco 6 2011
39  Belgium 5 2014
40  Estonia 5 2012
41  Norway 4[35] 2013
42  Chile 4 2009
43  Vietnam 4 2012
44  Malaysia 3 2011
45  Serbia 3 2014
46  Thailand 3 2011
47  Gabon 2 2014
48  Croatia 2 2014
49  Denmark 2[35] 2013
50  Tunisia 2 2010
51  Egypt 2 2010
52  Kenya 1.7 2014[36]
53  Israel 1.4 2016[37]
54  Algeria 1 2012
55  Cameroon 1 2011

Tonnes carried in rail transport per year[edit]

Countries with more than ten million tonnes carried per year. Unless otherwise specified, data come from the Railway Statistics 2014 Report by the International Union of Railways.

Rank Country Million tonnes Data year
1  China 3,358[38] 2015
2  United States 1,710 2011
3  Australia 1,298[39] 2014
4  Russia 1,218[40] 2015
5  India 1,050[41] 2014
6  Brazil 460 2014
7  Ukraine 457 2011
8  Canada 310 2011
9  Kazakhstan 295 2012
10  Poland 225 [42] 2015
11  Germany 221 2014
12  South Africa 197 2011
13  Belarus 141 2014
14  United Kingdom 110.1[43] 2014
15  Mexico 105 2010
16  Uzbekistan 82 2014
17  Austria 74 2014
18  Sweden 65 [44] 2015
19  France 63 2011
20  Colombia 59 2014
21  Czech Republic 57 2014
22  Latvia 57 2014
23   Switzerland 50[1] 2014
24  Lithuania 49 2014
25  Romania 44 2014
26  South Korea 40 2013
27  Italy 38 2014
28  Finland 37 2014
29  Belgium 37 2009
30  Slovakia 36 2014
31  Morocco 37 2011
32  Iran 33 2013
33  Japan 31 2010
34  Turkmenistan 27 2012
35  Turkey 26 2014
36  Estonia 26 2012
37  Spain 25 2014
38  Chile 25 2013
39  Argentina 24 2010
40  Azerbaijan 23 2012
41  Georgia 20 2012
42  Indonesia 20 2010
43  Mongolia 18 2011
44  Slovenia 17 2014
45  Bosnia and Herzegovina 13 2014
46  Malaysia 12 2011
47  Bulgaria 12 2014
48  Taiwan 11 2012
49  Thailand 11 2011
50  Croatia 10 2014
51  Tunisia 10 2012

Freight modal share for rail[edit]

The modal share carried by rail of all freight in a given country.

Rank Country Modal share (%) Data year
1  Canada 68[45] 2009
2  Latvia 61[46] 2012
3  Russia 59[45] 2010
4  Estonia 47[46] 2012
5   Switzerland 46[23] 2012
6  United States 44[45] 2008
7  Austria 41[46] 2012
8  Sweden 40[46] 2012
9  Australia 40[47] 2009
10  Lithuania 38[46] 2012
11  China 31[45] 2009
12  India 31[48] 2016
13  Finland 27[46] 2012
14  Brazil 25[49] 2005
15  Romania 24[46] 2012
16  Germany 23[46] 2012
17  Czech Republic 22[46] 2012
18  Hungary 21[46] 2012
19  Slovakia 20[46] 2012
20  Poland 18[46] 2012
21  Belgium 18[46] 2012
22  France 15[46] 2012
23  Italy 14[46] 2012
24  United Kingdom 12[46] 2012
25  Bulgaria 9[46] 2012
26  Japan 6.2[45] 2010
27  Netherlands 5[46] -
28  Ireland 0.7[50] 2007

Freight rail by tonne-kilometres per capita[edit]

Rank Country Tonne-kilometre per capita Data year
1  Russia 12,599
2  Canada 10,517
3  United States 9,165
4  Australia 2,308
5  China 2,150
6   Switzerland 1,480[23][24] 2013
7  Germany 1,060
   European Union 782

Brief railway statistics by country[edit]

Country area (million km2) pop (million) Rail company Net km Double km Electrified km HSR km passenger-km tonne-km HS. PKm Pass. modal % Frt. modal % Pass/ pop % Elec %
 Austria 0.08 8.57 OBB
 Brazil 8.54 209 29 0.5 232
 China 9.6 1,382 CR 127 71 86 25 876 2764 68
 Egypt 1 93 ENR 5 1.5 0.07 41 4 6.1
 France 0.55 64 SNCF 29 16 14 1.8 81 40 48 16.8
 Germany 0.36 80.68 DB 34 18 20 1.2 74 91 22 10 17 22.4 60
 India 3.28 1,326 IR 63 17.4 17.8 696 481 5.5
 Iran 1.6 80.04 RAI 7 1 0.15 0.25 13 21 0 4 7 0.3 1
 Italy 0.3 59 FS 16 7 12 0.82 45 21 9
 Japan 0.38 126 JR 20 8 12 2.5 253 23 79 29 69.6 100
 Kazakhstan 2.72 17 KTZ 14 5 4 14 191
 Morocco 0.44 34 ONCFM 2 0.6 1 4 6 0.8 89
 Netherlands 0.04 17 NS 3.2 2.0 2.3 0.1 17.8 6 8.8 5 76.4
 Pakistan .796 192 PR 7 0.3 26 6
 Poland 0.31 38 PKP 19 9 12
 Russia 17.09 143 RZD 128 36 48 1.3 173 2090 14 42 67 9.1 80
 South Africa 1.22 54 SAR 24 2 8 14 109 11
 South Korea 0.1 50 KNR 3 1 2 0.32 32 11 10 20.4 20
 Spain 0.51 46 Renfe 15 5 9 1.27 21 11 4
  Switzerland 0.041 8.38 SBB 4 2 3 15 13 40.9 100
 Taiwan 0.036 23 TRA 1 0.67 0.69 0.33 9 1
 Turkey 0.78 79 TCDD 9 04 1.9 0.25 6 10 24
 United Kingdom 0.24 65 NR 16 5 0.3 48 21
 United States 9.6 324 AMTK 227 2820 42 1
 World 149 7,432 United Nations 900 250 240 9 2468 9486 178 10 20 50

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The UIC data here cover Amtrak only.

References[edit]

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