Much has been written about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on air traffic. However, Covid-19 and the measures taken to prevent its spread have also caused much damage to the rail transport business, as the latest figures by Statistics Finland show.
In the first quarter of 2020, the period when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and governments started to adopt strict lockdown measures, a total of 17.7 million passengers travelled on Finnish railways, which is 21% fewer than in the corresponding quarter of last year.Source: Statistics Finland.
The number of passenger kilometres in train traffic totalled 1,098 million, 6% down from the corresponding quarter of the year before.
This fall in passenger kilometres indicate that the number of passengers decreased more in local transport than in long-distance transport. It is a consequence, among other things, of measures such as temporary layoffs and the Government's recommendations to stay home and telework.
Regarding freight traffic, a total of 9.3 million tonnes of goods were transported by rail in Finland during the first quarter of 2020. The transport volume of goods transported by rail totalled 2.5 billion tonne-kilometres.
The performances of freight transport by rail starting from 2020 are not fully comparable with the data of earlier years due to changes made to the statistics.