According to LITRA, the Swiss covered more distance by train than anyone else in the world in 2014. An average Swiss resident covered 2,288 km by train, more than twice the distance of an average Brit (1,056 km). Even the French with their world-class high-speed TGV train network were well behind the Swiss with only 1,271 km of train travel for the year. Japan was a reasonably close second with an average of 2,042 km, probably not surprising to anyone who has travelled on Japan’s space age high-speed Shinkansen trains with their aircraft-like interiors and serpentine features.
Average distance travelled per resident in 2014
Swiss residents also made frequent trips, 59 being the 2014 average. On this measure the Swiss came in behind the Japanese with 72 trips annually. It seems the Japanese take more but shorter trips than the Swiss.
Average number of train trips per resident in 2014
Other European countries sit well behind Switzerland on both measures. Austria is in second place in Europe on average per capita distance with 1,378 km, well behind Switzerland’s 2,288 km. On frequency Luxembourg is second in Europe with 40 train journeys per resident per annum, only a little over two thirds the number for Switzerland. On this measure Britain achieves less than half the Swiss number with an average of 26 trips over the year.
Both Swiss and Japanese trains have a reputation for running on time. Could there be a connection?