Train operators across Europe have issued more than 3.5 million free tickets to help those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
That’s according to the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), which has been gathering data since Russia’s illegal invasion of the country began on February 24.
UN statistics show that over six million refugees have left Ukraine to date. Poland remains the busiest border crossing point, with Polish State Railways having helped carry more than 1.8 million Ukrainians to safety.
Among the other operators to have issued the largest numbers of tickets are Deutsche Bahn (Germany, 366,000), Czech Railways (550,000), Hungarian Railways (337,000) and ZSSK (Slovakia, 365,000).
Meanwhile, SNCF (France) had issued 50,000 tickets and Renfe (Spain) 60,000 tickets, with cross-channel Eurostar also providing 2,000 free tickets for services to the UK by the start of May.
CER says there will now be increased focus on providing logistical support to boost freight capacity on cross-border road and rail routes.
This is in support of the European Commission Action Plan to create EU-Ukraine ‘solidarity lanes’, to redirect export cargo - particularly grain - from blockaded Black Sea ports.