Transport and tourism

Rail transport2010


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Rail transport
Topic: Transport and tourism

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Energy, Environmental and Transport Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

National transport: Transport by rail between two places in the reporting country; one place for loading/embarking and one place for unloading/disembarking.

International transport: Transport by rail between a place (for loading/embarking or unloading disembarking) in the reporting country and a place (for loading/embarking or unloading/ disembarking) in another country.

Transit: Transport through the reporting country between two places located outside the reporting country.

TEU - Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit:* A standard unit based on an ISO container 20 feet long (6,10 meters).

Weight: Gross weight including packaging and the tare weight.

Tonne-kilometre:. The transport of one tonne over one kilometre (actually run).

Type of commodity: Based on the NST/R 2007 nomenclature.

Dangerous goods: Based on the ADR classification.

Passenger: The number of trips.

Passenger-kilometres: In principle the sum total of the kilometres travelled by each passenger.

Standard classifications

NST/R and ADR (see 4.1.)

Administrative information

Regional level

Nuts II-level every fifth year.

Frequency and timeliness

Quarterly and annually.

International reporting

Transmission of data to Eurostat.


Microdata are stored in Oracle databases, and production data are stored as SAS files. Historical data are stored as ASCII files on UNIX.


Background and purpose

The EU is working towards a more comprehensive use of intermodal transport as a means to reduce transport by lorry to the 1998-level. Consequently, there is a need to establish adequate statistics for all modes of transport, including transport by rail.

Users and applications

The statistics will in addition to being published separately, be used in the calculations of the domestic transport performances. The statistics are used by several users, including research institutes and government authorities.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The rail statistics are used as input data in several statistics produced in Statistics Norway, for instance in the calculation of the quarterly national accounts and the annual calculation of the transport performance by mode of transport.

Legal authority

§ 2-2 and 2-3 of the Statistics Act.

EEA reference

Council Regulation (EC) no. 91/2003.

Commission Regulation (EC) no. 1192/2003.



The statistics include all approved rail operators, i.e. all commercial transport by rail including possible private own enterprises. The suburban railways and urban tramways are not included.

Data sources and sampling

Questionnaires completed by all operators.

Full count.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

There are quite few operators. All editing is therefore carried out manually.

The survey is based on a full count. Partial withdrawals are very rare. Few variables must be estimated by Statistics Norway. However, passenger figures by nationality have to be estimated based on other sources.

Seasonal adjustment



The principal rule of the Statistics Act is that information shall under no circumstances be published in such a way that it may be traced back to the supplier of any data or to any other identifiable individual. In agreement with the rail operators, an exception has been made to this rule.

Comparability over time and space

The statistics are fairly new and few alterations have been done in the EC-Regulation. In addition, very few and small operators have entered the market since 2003. The comparability in the time series from 2003 is thus good.

The train operator on the Gjøvik line adopted a new calculation model for the number of passengers and passenger kilometres in 2019. The figures for the Gjøvik line as of 2019 are therefore not comparable with previous years.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The questionnaires are reviewed thoroughly, and errors are rectified during this process.


Not relevant