Published: 27 August 2020

Growth continued in passenger traffic by rail in Finland in 2019

In 2019, nearly 93 million trips in passenger traffic were made by Finnish rail and 38.5 million tonnes of freight were transported. The number of trips in passenger traffic grew by six per cent and the volume of freight transported decreased by six per cent from 2018.

Number of trips in passenger traffic grew by six per cent

In 2019, the total number of trips in passenger traffic by rail totalled 92.8 million, which was 5.3 million trips more than in 2018. The number of trips grew by six per cent from 2018. The number of trips made in passenger traffic has grown yearly since 2015.

Of trips, 84 per cent were made in local traffic and 16 per cent in long-distance traffic. The number of trips in local traffic grew by five per cent and that in long-distance traffic by 10 per cent from the previous year.

Of the trips made in long-distance traffic, 14.3 million were made in Finland and 0.6 million in international traffic. The average length of trips was 53 kilometres, which was two per cent longer than in the year before.

In 2019, the number of passenger-kilometres in train traffic increased by nine per cent from the previous year. Passenger-kilometres totalled 4.9 billion, of which long-distance traffic accounted for 76 per cent and local traffic for 24 per cent.

Number of trips in long-distance and local traffic in years 2009–2019

Number of trips in long-distance and local traffic in years 2009–2019

Volume of freight transported by rail decreased slightly

A total of 38.5 million tonnes of freight were transported by rail in Finland in 2019. The volume of freight transported decreased by six per cent from 2018. The transport performance of freight transported by rail totalled 10.3 billion tonne-kilometres, which was eight per cent less than in 2018. Of tonne-kilometres, 66 per cent came from domestic traffic and 34 per cent from international traffic. The average length of a freight transport journey was 267 kilometres, which was three per cent shorter than in the previous year.

Wood and wood products were transported most by rail, amounting to 14.7 million tonnes last year. The share of the product group was 38 per cent of all transported tonnes. Mineral products were transported second most, in total 8.3 million tonnes, followed by 7.2 million tonnes of paper industry products. The transport performance was highest in the transport of wood and wood products, 3.5 billion tonne-kilometres, which was 34 per cent of all transport.

Train traffic performances

The total number of train-kilometres continued to grow and was 51.5 million train-kilometres in 2019. Train kilometres in passenger traffic by rail increased by five per cent and passenger traffic accounted for 71 per cent of all train-kilometres. Train-kilometres in freight traffic diminished by five per cent in 2019.

The share of the electric tractive stock in train-kilometres has grown yearly and in 2019, the share of the electric tractive stock was 90 per cent of train-kilometres. The train-kilometres of electric locomotives grew by three per cent and train kilometres of electric railcars grew by two per cent from 2018. The share of electric locomotives in the train-kilometres of the electric tractive stock was 60 per cent.

In 2019, locomotive-kilometres totalled 72.7 million. The share of electric locomotives was 45 per cent and that of electric railcars was 35 per cent of locomotive-kilometres. In all, 16 per cent of locomotive-kilometres were driven with diesel locomotives and three per cent with diesel railcars.

The total volume of gross tonne-kilometres of train traffic was 33.4 billion gross tonne-kilometres in 2019. Freight traffic accounted for 66 per cent of the gross tonne-kilometres and passenger traffic for 34 per cent of the gross tonne-kilometres. Gross tonne-kilometres of freight traffic decreased by six per cent from the previous year but those of passenger traffic increased by seven per cent. In passenger traffic, the gross tonne-kilometres of long-distance trains were 9.1 billion gross tonne-kilometres and in local trains 2.4 billion gross tonne-kilometres. The gross tonne-kilometres of long-distance traffic increased by nine per cent and that of local traffic by one per cent from the year before. In passenger traffic, the average train weight was 313 tonnes and in freight traffic 1,468 tonnes in 2019.

In 2019, a total of 29.8 billion gross tonne-kilometres were hauled, of which 19.6 billion gross tonne-kilometres hauled came from freight traffic and 10.2 billion from passenger traffic.

In 2019, the total number of vehicle-axle-kilometres of passenger and freight trains was 2.2 billion vehicle-axle-kilometres, which was two per cent more than in 2018. Coaches accumulated 0.7 billion vehicle-axle-kilometres and freight wagons loaded in freight traffic 0.8 billion and empty wagons 0.7 billion vehicle-axle-kilometres. Of vehicle-axle-kilometres, 68 per cent were hauled by electric locomotives and 17 per cent by diesel locomotives. Electric railcars accounted for 14 per cent and diesel railcars for one per cent of all vehicle-axle-kilometres.

Energy consumption in train traffic totalled 3.4 petajoules in 2019, which was one per cent more than one year before. Measured in petajoules, the share of electricity was 72 per cent and that of diesel liquid fuel 28 per cent of energy consumption.

Rail traffic accidents

There were 14 accidents classified as significant on railways in 2019. The number of significant accidents increased by one compared with 2018. In the accidents, three persons were killed and five were seriously injured. The number of persons killed was two lower, but one more person was seriously injured than in 2018. Most of the accidents leading to death and serious injuries were caused by accidents involving level crossings. Two persons died in level crossing accidents and four persons were seriously injured in them in 2019. Other significant accidents were passenger accidents caused by rolling stock in motion, of which two occurred and other accidents, which numbered four.

The number of significant rail traffic accidents was 0.27 per million train-kilometres. In 2018, the corresponding ratio was 0.26. In 2019, there were 0.16 fatalities and serious injuries per million train-kilometres.

Rail network

The length of the Finnish rail network was 5,923 kilometres at the end of 2019. Of the rail network, 5,231 kilometres were single-track railways and 692 kilometres two-track or multi-track railways. A total of 3,331 kilometres of the rail network have been electrified. One-half of single-track track railways are electrified and double-track or multiple-track track railways are fully electrified.

At the end of 2019, the length of the Finnish rail network was 8,551 track-kilometres, of which 6,712 were main tracks and 1,839 were sidings. The length of the rail network had gone up by 26 track-kilometres from the previous year, or by 0.3 per cent. Over one-half of main tracks are classified as belonging to line category D. Category A contained 524 track-kilometres, or eight per cent of main tracks. In all, 5,129 kilometres or 76 per cent of main tracks were tracks with concrete sleepers. Continuous-welded tracks amounted to 5,231 kilometres in 2019.

At the end of 2019, the Finnish railway network had 2,697 level crossings, which is 26 fewer than in the year before. Of the level crossings, 1,992 were without safety equipment and 705 had safety equipment. There were 2,206 level-separated crossings, of which 898 had overpasses and 1,308 underpasses.

Investments in track construction and maintenance amounted to EUR 247 million in 2019, which is 22 per cent less than one year earlier.


Source: Railway Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Sami Lahtinen 029 551 3207, Matti Kokkonen 029 551 3770, Nico Maunula 029 551 3526, Jukka Tuominen 029 551 3635, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 27.8.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Railway Statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=2670-3351. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.3.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rtie/2019/rtie_2019_2020-08-27_tie_001_en.html