In this section, Statista presents the most relevant and up-to-date facts relating to the railway business.
In the 18th century, the introduction of James Watt’s improved steam engine heralded a new era: the Industrial Revolution. More and more countries began to plan and finance an increasing number of railway tracks and stations. Rail traffic can be broken down to passenger rail travel and cargo rail transport. While commuters and tourists prefer to travel in passenger rail cars, cargo is typically transported by freight cars. The world’s leading markets for cargo rail traffic include China, the United States and Russia. The United States is also home to the world’s largest railroad station: Grand Central Terminal, at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in New York, has 44 platforms serving 67 tracks. However, the busiest train stations are situated in Japan – one of the most densely populated (large) countries globally.
Although many approaches to privatize the industry have been initiated, the industry continues to be dominated by state-controlled incumbents. Along with China, Japan is ranked as the largest market for passenger rail traffic. The largest companies transporting freight and passengers by rail include Amtrak, Union Pacific, Deutsche Bahn, East Japan Railway and SNCF.
Picture: istockphoto.com / scanrail