Rail passenger transport in the 25-nation European Union (EU) rose 2.2 percent to 357 billion in 2005 from the year before, while freight transport stabilized at 392 billion ton-kilometers, the EU statistical office Eurostat said Monday.
France handled the biggest volume of rail passenger transport among EU members, with 76 billion passenger-kilometers in 2005, followed by Germany with 75 billion, Eurostat said.
The two countries, plus Italy and Britain, accounted for almost 70 percent of the EU's total volume of rail passenger transport in 2005.
Among EU member states, Estonia showed the highest growth in rail passenger transport between 2004 and 2005 with a 28 percent surge, while Lithuania and Hungary recorded the largest decrease of 9 percent each.
In 2004, almost 80 percent of the use of railways in the EU was by passenger trains.
In goods transport, Germany continued to be the biggest rail freight transport handling country with 95 billion ton-kilometers in 2005, followed by Poland with 50 billion.
Five countries -- Germany, Poland, France, Italy and Britain -- represented almost 60 percent of the total EU rail freight transport in 2005.
In that year, Lithuania registered the biggest increase in rail goods transport with a 7 percent growth, while Luxembourg experienced the largest fall with a 34 percent decline.