Rail transport in May 2021


In May there were significant increases both in the number of passengers and the weight of transported goods. In May 18.9 m people travelled by rail which is the best result in 2021. The number of passengers was 93.1% higher than a year ago when the restrictions introduced during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic were in force. In rail freight the weight of transported goods reached 20.4 m tonnes which is an increase by 23.2% when compared to May 2020.


In May 18.9 m passengers travelled by rail. When compared to May 2020 it is an increase by 93.1%. The transport performance rose to 1.1 bn pass-km (May is the first month in 2021 with results over 1 bn pas-km). It is an increase by 122% year on year. The operational performance reached 14.6 m train-km (an increase by 45.7% year on year). The average distance travelled was 60 km (an increase by 8 km year on year).

When compared to April 2021, the number of passengers in May rose by 5 m (35.5%), the transport performance rose by 295 m pass-km (35.3%) and the operational performance by 0.4 m train-km (3, 1%). The average distance travelled remained the same as in April, i.e. 60 km.

- The trends in rail transport in Poland are already different than a year ago. May 2020 was one of the most difficult months for passenger operators. There is a visible trend of rebuilding passengers' trust for this mode of travel - emphasizes Ignacy Góra, President of the Office of Rail Transport. – The society is inclined to travel by rail and we see that rail transport is quite in fashion as safe and comfortable, but above all ecological and sustainable mode of transport - adds Ignacy Góra.

During five months of 2021 76 m passengers travelled by rail, the transport performance amounted to 4.5 bn pass-km, the operational performance to 72 m train-km and the average distance travelled to 59 km.


The weight of transported goods in May reached 20.4 m tonnes and was higher than in 2020 by 23.2%. Other transport parameters were also higher than in May 2020. The transport performance was 4.7 bn tonne-km (an increase by 14.5%), while the operational performance was 6.9 m train-km (an increase by 132%). The average distance was 229 km (18 km less).

The performance data in May were also on rise. When compared to April 2021 0.5 m more goods were transported (2.6%), the transport performance was higher by 141.8 m tonne-km (3.1%) and the operational performance was higher by 0.2 m train-km (2.7% ). The average distance travelled was longer by 1 km.

- In recent months we see that rail freight market is stabilising itself. Slight declines in market share since the beginning of the pandemic and the return to pre-2020 results reflect the stable market position of rail freight companies in Poland. An important factor here is also the continuous development of intermodal transport - notes Ignacy Góra, President of the Office of Rail Transport.

Since the beginning of the year, 97 m tonnes of goods were transported by rail, the transport performance reached 22 bn tonne-km and operational performance 32.8 m train-km. The average distance travelled in these five months was 227 km.

Detailed data on passenger transport and rail freight are available at

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