July 06, 2017

Austria reports growth in passengers and freight in 2016

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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AUSTRIA’s railway network carried a total of 288.8 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 6.4 million from 2015, according to figures released by Austrian rail regulator Schienen-Control in its annual report.

Passengers using Austrian Federal Railways’ (ÖBB) services grew by 6.1 million year-on-year, helping the operator to increase its overall market share from 84.3% to 84.5%. ÖBB says this increase is the result of the improved connections now available from Vienna Main Station, which opened in December 2015. Overall passenger-km also increased from 12.2 billion to 12.6 billion, with ÖBB increasing its market share to 88.4% compared with 87.8% in 2015.

Rail freight also experienced growth during the year, with the Austrian network transporting 114.9 million tonnes compared with 112.8 million tonnes in 2015. Net tonne-km also increased from 22.564 billion in 2015 to 22.812 billion in 2016.

Rail Cargo Austria is responsible for 99% of single wagonload traffic, while new entrants to the market have now accrued 37% of the block train market. Competition is fiercest on the Brenner corridor where 42% of traffic is handled by new entrants, and on the Danuble corridor (33%). Lomomotion is the leading competitor to RCA with a 5% market share followed by LTE (4.9%), Cargoserv (4.2%), TX Logistik (3.8%) and Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo (2.6%).

According to Schienen-Control, 40 separate operators are now active in the Austrian market of which 25 are focused on freight, five on passenger and 10 are active in both segments. Eight operators are subsidiaries of other national railways, four are subsidiaries of ÖBB, 10 are under public majority ownership, and 18 are from the private sector.

In addition, Schienen-Control says that with a distance of 1439km per inhabitant, Austria has the best performance in the European Union, and only trails Switzerland in Europe as a whole.

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