We keep Britain moving. The railway brings together families and friends, and opens up communities to opportunities: jobs; clients and customers. It helps businesses and the national economy to grow – and it’s our job to look after it.
Day-to-day operations are devolved to our eight routes across Britain. It means we’re able to make better decisions at the local level about running and improving the railway, while passengers reap the benefits of closer cooperation with local train companies.
This is what we call the thousands of engineers and contractors on the railway who work day and night to maintain, repair, improve and operate railway infrastructure.
Working on the tracks, signalling, bridges, tunnels, stations and level crossings, they’re equipped with a fleet of vehicles and machinery to help with the essential day-to-day work of keeping the railway running safely and smoothly.
We’re always looking ahead. Developing technology and looking to the latest industry innovations makes our work – and train journeys – safer and quicker. We’re the fastest-growing railway in Europe, as well as the safest and one of the most reliable.
Passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years, and this unprecedented growth is set to continue. Around 22,500 trains run every day in Britain – with nearly 1.7 billion passenger journeys each year – and another 400 million rail journeys will be made by 2020. Rail freight has increased by 70 per cent since the 1990s.
Demand on this scale means there’s no space on the busiest parts of the network at peak times, which can lead to congestion and delays.
Most of the rail network is in use around the clock, with freight trains running through the night when most passenger services have stopped.
We work with passenger and freight train companies to decide how many trains can safely run on the network, and at what times. This is published as the working timetable.