Title of statistical activity: Transport by railway

Code of statistical activity: 22015

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Piret Pukk

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".

Leading Analyst

1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 9293

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Annual data: freight loaded on Estonian public railways by country; freight traffic of dangerous goods on railways; transport of containers by rail transport; rail transport by trans-European network segment.

Quarterly data: freight traffic on railways by group of goods.

Monthly data: passenger and freight traffic on railways.

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

International Standard Codes for the Representation of the Names of Countries (ISO 3166)

Standard goods classification for transport statistics (NST 2007)

Classification of categories of dangerous goods (ADR)

Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Rail transport enterprises

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Dangerous goods – the classes of dangerous goods carried by rail are those defined by the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The classification of goods as dangerous is defined in the regulations concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by rail, also known as RID. Dangerous goods are substances and solids that can harm people, property or the environment due to their explosive, flammable, radioactive, toxic, corrosive or other properties.

Domestic traffic – transport of passengers or goods within Estonia.

Enterprise – an enterprise consists of one or more companies (public limited company, private limited company, limited partnership, general partnership, commercial association) or branches of foreign companies or sole proprietors. Rail transport statistics do not cover branches of foreign companies and sole proprietors.

Freight turnover – freight indicators are the volume of freight carried in tonnes and freight turnover in tonne-kilometres. One tonne-kilometre is the transport of one tonne of goods across a distance of one kilometre.

Goods in transit by rail throughout – goods carried by rail through the reporting country between two places (place of loading/unloading) outside the reporting country. Wagons entering and/or leaving the reporting network by ferry are included.

Group of goods – goods have been classified by the standard goods classification for transport statistics (NST).

International railway transport – railway transport between a place (of loading/embarkation or of unloading/disembarkation) in one country and a place (of loading/embarkation or of unloading/disembarkation) in another country. It may involve transit through one or more additional countries. To avoid double counting, each country only counts the passenger-kilometres (pkm) or tonne-kilometres (tkm) completed on its territory. Each country calculates the total number of passengers and the total weight of goods carried. Information on international goods and passenger transport is provided at the regional level (NUTS 2).

International traffic – transport of passengers or goods by crossing Estonian borders. The origin and/or destination point is outside Estonian borders.

Passenger traffic volume – measured in passenger-kilometres. One passenger-kilometre is the transport of one person across a distance of one kilometre.

TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) – a standard unit for counting containers of various capacities and for describing the capacities of container ships or terminals. One 20-foot ISO container equals 1 TEU. One 40-foot ISO container equals 2 TEUs.

Trans-European rail network – comprises the trans-European high-speed rail network and the trans-European conventional rail network as well as other infrastructure built or rebuilt for conventional rail traffic or high-speed rail traffic and the rolling stock designed for this rail infrastructure. The rail network is part of the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T).

Volume of transport – to estimate the volume of passenger transport, the following indicators are used: the total number of passengers carried and passenger traffic volume. To measure the transport of goods, the following indicators are used: the amount of goods in tonnes and freight turnover in tonne-kilometres.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.


3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Rail transport enterprises


List of active enterprises whose main activity is rail transport. The list is generated from the Business Register for Statistical Purposes.

List of enterprises who have a license for rail passenger or rail freight services issued by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.

Passenger traffic on railways (months) 1991–…

Freight traffic on railways (months) 1991–…

Freight traffic on railways by group of goods (quarters) 2009–…

Freight loaded on Estonian public railways by country 2001–…

Freight traffic of dangerous goods on railways 2002–…

Transport of containers by rail transport 2003–…

Rail transport by trans-european network segment 2005–…

3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Passenger transport – thousand passengers

Passenger turnover – thousand passenger-kilometres

Freight – thousand tonnes

Freight turnover – thousand tonne-kilometres

Containers transport – number, TEU

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.




6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


REGULATION (EU) 2016/2032 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 26 October 2016 amending Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 on rail transport statistics, as regards the collection of data on goods, passengers and accidents

Commission Regulation (EC) No 332/2007 of 27 March 2007 on the technical arrangements for the transmission of railway transport statistics

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1304/2007 of 7 November 2007 amending Council Directive 95/64/EC, Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/98, Regulations (EC) No 91/2003 and (EC) No 1365/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council with respect to the establishment of NST 2007 as the unique classification for transported goods in certain transport modes

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1192/2003 of 3 July 2003 amending Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail transport statistics

Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on rail transport statistics

REGULATION (EU) 2018/643 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 18 April 2018 on rail transport statistics


Not available


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

International Transport Forum (ITF)

United Nations (UN)

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.




10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

The news release “Transport” once a year. The news release can be viewed on the website at https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee under the subject area “Economy / Transport / Rail transport” in the following tables:

TS1411: Freight loaded on Estonian public railways by country

TS1413: Freight traffic of dangerous goods on railways

TS1414: Transport of containers by rail transport

TS1421: Passenger and freight traffic on railways (months)

TS183: Freight traffic on railways by group of goods (quarters)

TS38: Rail transport by trans-european network segment

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 21408 “Supply and use tables” and 22029 “Transport of passengers and goods by transport enterprises”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Glossary for Transport Statistics (prepared by the Intersecretariat Working Group on Transport Statistics – Eurostat, ITF and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)


Reference Manual on Rail transport statistics – Guidelines for the implementation of Regulation (EC) N° 2016/2032 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail transport statistics


10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Published in the Statistical Database, table TC40: Population, sample and respondents of transport enterprises

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Ministry of Finance

Technical Regulatory Authority

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

In compliance with the rules (regulations)

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The type of survey and the data collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

The total freight in tonnes may be double counted because in domestic transport one and the same quantity of freight may be carried to the destination by several railway enterprises if one of them carries the freight on a public railway and the other carrier on a non-public railway. Therefore, it is recommended to characterise the quantity of freight carried using the indicator freight turnover, which indicates the volume of work done (in tonne-kilometres) in the carriage of the freight.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Timeliness Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe.

The data are published 30 days after the end of the reference month (T + 30), 65 days after the end of the reference quarter (T + 65) and 130 days after the of the reference year (T + 130).

14.2. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The data are comparable to data of other European Union countries because common methodology has been used for transport statistics.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

The data are comparable over time because common methodology has been used.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

The data on freight and passenger transport volume are comparable to the same data in other activities of transport statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

The data are made internally coherent by using common methodology in data collection and the same rules of data aggregation.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 15.7 thousand euros (data for 2018)

Total time of filling in reports of the statistical activity, working days: 15.5

Average time of filling in the reports, hours per report:

Raudteeveod 2.6

Raudteeveod 1.5

Raudteeveod 0.6

(data for 2016)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available within a year from the end of the reference period.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


The population of the survey includes all companies whose main economic activity is the transport of passengers or goods by rail and who have been issued the corresponding operating licenses. The population includes 8 objects. All objects are observed.


Not used


Not used

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.




18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected and the submission of questionnaires is monitored through eSTAT (the web channel for electronic data submission). The questionnaires have been designed for independent completion in eSTAT and include instructions and controls. The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Data are collected with the monthly, quarterly and annual statistical questionnaires “Railway transport”.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative controls are used in the validation process, including comparison with the data of previous periods and other surveys.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

In the case of missing or unreliable data, estimate imputation based on established regulations will be used.

Variables and statistical units which were not collected but which are necessary for producing the output are calculated. New variables are calculated by applying arithmetic conversion to already existing variables. This may be done repeatedly, the derived variable may, in turn, be based on previously derived new variables.

Micodata are aggregated to the level necessary for analysis. This includes aggregating the data according to the classification and calculating various statistical measures.

The collected data are converted into statistical output. This includes calculating additional indicators.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applied

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

The new directly applicable legislation is in force since 2017.