Swiss retain top spot as Europe’s most avid train travellers

The Swiss travelled nearly twice as often as people in Luxembourg, which took second spot in the ranking, which is based on figures from Eurostat and the OECD. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Swiss travelled more often by rail than anyone else in Europe in 2019, taking the train an average of 74 times and covering a distance of 2,505km.

This content was published on November 26, 2020 - 19:01

The figures published on Thursday by Litra, the Swiss information service for public transport, reveal the Swiss travelled nearly twice as often by rail as people in Luxembourg (40 times), which took second spot. Rail networks in countries at the other end of the scale, such as Estonia, Croatia and Greece, are less well developed, with citizens taking the train on average just five times a year.

In terms of kilometres covered per capita, the Swiss are also well ahead of others, with Austrians (1,489km) and Swedes (1,415km) coming a distant second and third respectively.

The Swiss even increased their train travel from 2018, when they took the train an average 71 times.

However, figures for 2020 are likely to paint a different picture as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Public transport companies had to cut services drastically during a nationwide lockdown in spring and suffered from lower passenger numbers even after restrictions were eased. The Swiss Federal Railways recently announced it was reducing train services to neighbouring Italy, France and Germany as a result of partial lockdowns to fight the second wave in those countries.

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