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Railway tranfer results for March 2020


Over 17.7 million passengers and almost 19.3 million tonnes of transported goods - these are the transfer results for March of 2020. Those are the effects of coronavirus epidemic. They are especially noticeable with regard to passenger transport, where the number of passengers fell by almost 37% in comparison to the same period of last year. And freight transport reached better levels than in January and February.


Carriers' March results show significant decrease in the use of railway as transport means. Over 17.7 million passengers means almost 10 million passengers less than in February 2020. Comparing year-to-year numbers this means a fall by almost 37%. Transfer service came to 970.8 million passenger-kilometres and fell by almost 43% in comparison to March of last year. To a lesser extent the decline is noticeable in operational service (13.1 million train-kilometres), which decreased by 7%. Average distance travelled by one passenger amounted to 55 km and was lower by 5 km than the average from last year.

- Measures introduced to prevent the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 virus have substantially influenced passenger transfers. The Poles have - following recommendations - limited travels to necessary minimum. Average day passenger presence on trains in the last week of March came to around 11%. During transfer peaks it amounted to around 16%, and off-peak - to 9%. Even with the fall in passenger numbers railway transport is functioning and ensures access to workplaces or medical services - sums up Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of the Office of Rail Transport (Pol. Urząd Transportu Kolejowego, UTK). - Already now one should consider the functioning of carriers in the future, but also work to develop solutions which would lead to the minimalisation of losses, coming from lower demand for railway services - he adds.

The number of passengers in Q1 2020 amounted to 73 million. Despite increases noted in January and February this means a decline by almost 6 million passengers. Transfer service in that period came to almost 4.4 billion passenger-kilometres and fell by more than 500 million, where operational service amounted to almost 43 million train-kilometres, which means a rise by 1.2 million. Despite a decline in March results the number of transported passengers in the first quarter of 2020 was higher than in Q1 2019.


Railway carriers transported almost 19.3 million tonnes of goods in March. It's the best monthly result of Q1 2020. Transfer service came to 4.4 billion tonne-kilometres and operational service - to 6.4 million train-kilometres. These values were lower in comparison to the corresponding period of last year by 9.8%, 14.3% and 15.2% respectively.

- A good result for March in comparison to January and February shows that the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has had lesser influence on freight transport than on passenger transport. Of essence is the lack of restrictions in international movement of freight trains. Information coming from the market shows that a decrease has been noted with regard to transport of highly-processed goods or coming from automobile industry. But in this specific period some of the carriers have noted increases in freight numbers - comments Mr. Góra.

The values for Q1 2020 in freight transfers were: 54.2 million tonnes of transported goods, 12.5 billion tonne-kilometres and 18.3 million train-kilometres. In comparison to Q1 2019 this means declines by 9.7%, 12.5% and 11.4% respectively.

Detailed data can be found on UTK's website under this link and this link.

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