Deutsche Bahn passenger in the coronavirus pandemic

Photos: DB/Oliver Lang

EUROPE: Railways in the European Union lost a total of €26bn in revenue in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data collected by the Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies.

Of the 27 EU member states, 25 have railway networks.

Deutsche Bahn train cleaning in the coronavirus pandemic

Photos: DB/Pablo Castagnola

CER said passenger services had been affected more than freight, which to a certain extent had managed to mitigate losses in the second half of 2020, but the pandemic was taking its toll across the board. After a short upswing during the summer the situation for passenger operators began to deteriorate again in the autumn, with revenue down a record 50% in December.

‘The Covid-19 crisis is impacting heavily on railways’, said CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola on January 27. ‘However, the rail sector is showing resilience and capacity to help fight the pandemic and assist society on the road to recovery. Getting Europe’s economy back on track while continuing to bring down global emissions is a pressing dual challenge. The European Year of Rail is a timely recognition of the role railways can and should play on these fronts.’