Passenger Travel by Train, Canada 1970-1995

September 29, 1995

The passenger-kilometres traveled on Canadian trains fell between 1970 and 1995. From a high of 3.1 billion pkm in 1970, ridership dropped to a level slightly above two billion pkm, where it remained for most of the 1980s. Drastic cuts in service on the government-owned railway occasioned a precipitous drop in rail travel in 1990 — to 1.4 billion pkm per year, the level at which it has remained since.

Passenger-kilometres Traveled by Train


Rail’s market share diminished throughout the period. Accounting for just 1.5% of all passenger travel in 1970, rail travel shrunk to 0.3% of the total in 1990, where it has remained since. Throughout, rail has had the smallest market share of the five modes examined.

Market Share of Train among Motorized Modes

For analyses of other modes, or for an overview of the trends in the modal split between 1970 and 1995, click on…


Airlines & Airports

Intercity Bus

Public Transit


The following may also be of interest: Urban Transport.

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