Monday 10 June 2024

The Statistics Platform Steering Committee holds its spring meeting in Basel

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On 28 and 29 May 2024, the Statistics Platform Steering Committee meeting took place in Basel, Switzerland, at the invitation of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). The meeting began by focusing on one of the Statistics Platform’s central objectives: to harmonise statistical concepts to facilitate the reporting of company statistics to UIC and various other organisations such as national and intergovernmental statistics offices. Specifically, the Common Questionnaire (CQ), and the Transport Statistics Glossary (TS Glossary), both jointly developed by EUROSTAT, the International Transport Forum (ITF), and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), were discussed, with UIC receiving a draft of the revised version of the CQ from EUROSTAT for review. The Steering Committee believes that the modifications enhance consistency between UIC questionnaires and the CQ. However, several comments were made and discussed in depth, such as the exclusion of “private lines” from reporting and the unclear definition of “public traffic” in the TS Glossary. Similarly, the definition of “shunting locomotives” was deemed imprecise due to the variety of shunting vehicle types. A document containing the Steering Committee’s comments will be prepared and communicated to EUROSTAT and the European Agency for Railways (ERA).

Continuing with the theme of harmonising statistical concepts, explanatory notes for the upcoming International Railway Statistics data collection will be clarified for Tables 41, 42, and 43, which relate to trains and rolling stock movements, as well as for financial data in Table 73: Operating and General Results of Fundamental Activities.

It was also decided that data on biodiesel consumption would be collected in Table 81: Energy Consumption by Tractive Stock, with the goal being to differentiate between fossil diesel and biodiesel. Therefore, consumption data expressed in Equivalent Pure Fossil Diesel, HVO, and FAME will be collected from operators and infrastructure managers for the year 2023.

Furthermore, it was agreed that Table 14, which includes a new classification of passenger stations and stops according to train service types, would become a permanent questionnaire. Data will be provided by infrastructure managers only, to avoid double counting.

Moreover, new financial and performance indicators will be calculated for benchmarking, such as:

  • The average number of passengers per train according to service type (short/long distance/high-speed trains) with data from Table 52: Passenger Transport: Split by Type of Service
  • The density of engineering structures (i.e., tunnels and bridges) on a given network with data from Table 11: Lines and Engineering Structures
  • The punctuality of passenger and freight trains reported separately by infrastructure managers with data from Table 19

The meeting concluded with an engaging presentation by the Italian State Railways (FS) on “Generating Reports Using Railisa Data,” using the FS information system and the Railisa API.

The Steering Committee wishes to inform the Statistics Platform participants that IRS 30398 has been updated and will be submitted for approval by the Plenary on 4 December.

As part of the time in Switzerland, SBB organised a fascinating visit to the port of Basel Kleinhüningen on the theme of intermodal waterway/rail/road transport, with representatives from the port railways Hafenbahn Schweiz AG also taking part.

More information on the meeting can be found on extranet at
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