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European railways have lost €50 billion since the start of the pandemic, according to CER’s COVID Impact Tracker

European railways have lost €50 billion since the start of the pandemic, according to CER’s COVID Impact Tracker
photo: Archives/European railways have lost €50 billion since the start of the pandemic, according to CER’s COVID Impact Tracker
14 / 02 / 2022

Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) released its CER COVID Impact Tracker. The results are as expected. Huge loss for the passenger services and some for the freight services. Together the losses were around €27 billion in 2020 and around €23 billion in 2021. No less than 33% turnover got lost in the last two years.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “The COVID crisis continued to have a heavy impact on railways last year. In 2021, commercial revenues were down by 33% versus 2019. At the end of 2021, CER members resumed the same number of trains as in 2019, but with a reduced ridership (down by 35%). This shows that CER members continued to provide services in 2020 and 2021 proving the resilience of the rail system, keeping people and goods on the move across Europe. However, the amount of rail revenue losses in EU27 reached the alarming level of €50 billion. Left uncorrected, this will have a long-lasting effect.”

Passenger services lost more than €46 billion altogether. Specifically, -41% during 2020 and -36% during 2021.
Freight services lost almost €4 billion altogether. Specifically, -12% during 2020 and -10% 2021.

In passenger services, the winter months had double losses compared to the summer. From November 2020 to April 2021 the revenues loss was about -50% and volume about -60% p.km (passenger-kilometer). Later months haven’t seen as bad losses but it was still significant. From May till October 2021 the loss in revenues was about -25% and loss in volume about -30% p.km.

Freight services were much luckier in this regard. After a collapse in January 2021, freight revenue losses were stagnant around -10% until October 2021, compared to 2019.

Same as in 2020 the upswing happened toward the end of 2021 and freight looked almost as everything is as usual.

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