Britain Runs on Rail: working as one rail industry for Britain

The rail industry is changing, investing and improving to secure growth for Britain.

Britain’s railway is increasingly important in connecting workers to jobs, businesses to markets, and people to their families and friends.

The combination of public and private investment going into the railway is set to boost the UK’s economy by almost £85bn, benefiting every region of Britain. 



In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity

We are working towards In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, a joint industry, long-term plan for Britain’s railway, launched in October 2017. The plan is backed by Network Rail and all passenger train operating companies, as well as rail freight companies and the supply chain acting in partnership.

Working as one railway enables investment and innovation, thereby helping to create more vibrant, stronger communities nationwide. Passengers will benefit from improved services and better journeys.

The plan commits us, as one railway for Britain, to:

• strengthen the railway’s contribution to the economy, keeping running
costs in the black, freeing up taxpayers’ money
• increase customer satisfaction by improving the railway to remain the toprated
major railway in Europe
• boost local communities through localised decision-making and investment
• create more jobs, increase diversity and provide our employees with
rewarding careers.

How rail is vital to jobs and economic growth


Did you know?

  • 97p in every £1 from ticket fares goes back into running and improving services.
  • Network Rail operating costs have fallen by 46 per cent since 2003/04 due to the introduction of new technology and innovation.
  • Our partnership is out-performing many EU counterparts:
    o UK passenger journey growth since 1997/98 has outstripped France, Germany and Spain.
    o Rail customers in the UK are more satisfied than those of any other major European railway.
  • In 2017, the percentage of customers satisfied with their journey overall was 81 per cent in Britain – compared to 76 per cent when surveys began in 1999.
  • There are some 4,000 more services a day than in the mid-1990s.


Since restructuring in the mid-1990s, the industry has developed as a partnership, neither purely private nor public sectors. Private sector operators run services, specified and controlled, including many fares, by central or local government. Network Rail is a public sector body. Rolling stock companies and the supply chains are privately owned and diverse. Together this partnership enables delivery of a critical public service.