The Risk of Contracting COVID-19 on Trains is Less than 1% – #UIC




Gudok.ru: The task force of the International Union of Railways (UIC) to combat and prevent COVID-19 last week published a special report – “Pollution levels on trains.”


The document presents facts showing that the risk of transmission of infection on trains is very low. UIC members expect that the propagation of this material will increase passenger traffic in rail transport.

Prepared by the COVID-19 Task Force, the UIC presents a variety of measures to restore passenger confidence in public rail transport. For example, disinfection, wearing masks, social distancing rules and special conditions for the ventilation of cars.

Unfortunately, this was not enough to restore passengers’ confidence. Also, the media, with little knowledge of the subject, too often cite public transport as a major factor in transmission.

This study was carried out at the request of the members of the union. The document provides figures for the actual level of infection with the virus while traveling by train. The research finding demonstrates that railways are an almost safe mode of transport, thanks to the measures taken by transport operators and station managers.

Vanessa Perez, a spokesperson for the target group, stated that the purpose of the study was to study scientific evidence regarding the risks of people contracting coronavirus when traveling by rail.


The results of the study showed that the risk of contracting COVID-19 while traveling by train is less than 1% of all infections, thanks to the current anti-epidemiological measures taken in transport.

The purpose of this document is to provide evidence that the risk of transmission on trains is very low.

The document provides examples of scientific evidence, case studies and mathematical models showing that crowds are rare on public transport and among train personnel. Therefore, the likelihood of infection in public transport is relatively low.

“We hope the scientific evidence that train travel is COVID safe will motivate people to choose the railroad, thereby increasing passenger traffic,” says Vanessa Perez. “We need to restore public confidence in trains and ensure that customers know that the risk of transmission on trains is very low.”

Studies show that infection on public transport is much less likely than in other situations, such as in the workplace or during family gatherings.


According to research in a document from the American Public Transportation Association, an analysis of public transit traffic in 15 American cities found no correlation with the rise or fall in local COVID-19 cases and the increase or decrease in public transit travel.


Similar results were obtained in other large cities – Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Paris, Vienna and Milan. The research results showed that coronavirus infection occurs at the end of the trip, after the passenger has left public transport. For example, in a restaurant or while walking home.

After conducting research, representatives of the target group concluded that if the recommended transport behavior is followed and all the precautions recommended by the health authorities are followed, the risk of COVID-19 transmission on trains is less than 1%.

“We will now post the results of the Train Pollution Survey on social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as on our electronic news platforms, webinars and the organization’s website. We also plan that the members of our organization will inform their clients about the research carried out and their results through their communication channels, ”said Vanessa Perez.

Rail transport remains one of the safest modes of passenger travel in Europe. The annual report of the countries – members of the European Union for 2019 notes that 824 people died on railway transport, 16 – in air crashes, and 22.8 thousand people died in car accidents.

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