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ERA Railway Factsheets: One click away from accessing relevant and comparable European rail data

Published: 12 July 2023

The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) developed Country Factsheets to give an in-depth insight into the rail sector of European countries in terms of transport, organisations, rolling stock, infrastructure, safety, market structure, and the legal framework.

Press release

The factsheets integrate railway data provided, assessed and disseminated by numerous organisations, ranging from railway operators and research institutions to various statistical bodies.

By making this information available on ERA’s website, a complete overview of what is happening in the rail sector of a country is provided, while enhancing the understanding on how the national railway sectors compare to each other.

“To click on a virtual map and get instant access to the most relevant figures describing the national railway systems – this is a long time desire that now is materialising in an easy to read format. Rail professionals, EU citizens and businesses are now just one click away from accessing relevant and comparable data”, says Josef Doppelbauer, ERA’s Executive Director. Also adding that “ERA’s experts have developed this practical tool in an effort to increase the level of understanding of the existent situation, a starting point encouraging further fact based decisions, leading to better European railways.”

From a cooperation perspective, there also is an additional benefit to the ERA Railway Factsheets, as railway data comes from so many different organisations and data collection methods are not always aligned, data quality remains a point of attention. The factsheets put the spotlight on data gaps and inconsistencies that exist within and between countries.

The ERA Railway Factsheets shall be regularly updated, and the scope and format will evolve over time. Considering that ERA’s approach is to continuously improve this practical tool, we invite everyone to critically reflect on the presented data and provide comments via email:

Background information

About the EU Agency for Railways

The European Union Agency for Railways was established in Valenciennes in 2004, and has 188 employees representing more than 22 European Member States.

ERA has been providing EU Member States and the European Commission with technical assistance in the development and implementation of the Single European Railway Area. This comprises enhancing technical interoperability and harmonising rules, promoting simplified access for customers, developing a common approach to safety and safety culture, advising on telematics applications and ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), monitoring National Safety Authorities and Notified Bodies and facilitating the exchange of information between the railway actors in Europe.

Since 16th June 2019 the EU Agency for Railways is mandated to issue single safety certificates and vehicle (type) authorisations valid in multiple European countries and to ensure an interoperable European Rail Traffic Management System.

About the ERA Railway Factsheets: Key considerations about current limitations

Data availability is suboptimal:

  • Some countries do not report all indicators to Eurostat / ERA;
  • Some statistics are available with a large delay. This makes that the factsheets often give a more delayed view than desired.

Data access is cumbersome:

  • Only Eurostat offers APIs;
  • The rest must be extracted manually. The ultimate goal is to have dynamic factsheets, directly extracting the most recent data from databases.

Data completeness:

  • Some indicators on operational performance are difficult to obtain.