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Annual report and accounts

We own and operate the railway infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland. We work closely with train operators to run a safe, reliable and efficient railway for passengers and freight users. By doing this, we support people’s daily lives and drive economic growth.

In this, our Annual Report and Accounts, we outline performance during 2020/2021.

Key documents 2021

Key sections

From our Board

Key messages from our Board on our achievements and challenges in 2020/21. Download the foreword by chair, Sir Peter Hendy, the chief executive’s message by Andrew Haines and chief financial officer, Jeremy Westlake’s review of our financial performance.

Our strategy

Our plans for Control Period 6 (CP6) are underpinned by our six strategic priorities. These are directly derived from our vision, role and purpose. They provide structure and clarity to our thinking, covering what we’ll do and how we’ll do it, so that we deliver the railway that Britain needs and passengers deserve.

Safety and train service delivery represent the fundamental pillars of delivering a great service for passengers and freight users. As an organisation which receives significant taxpayer funding, we have a duty to be efficient in our use of public resources, and to support the sustainable growth of the economy. We know that our people are key to us delivering on our commitments. Our focus on customers and communities keeps outcomes and our impact on the wider community at the heart of our decision making.

About us

Inside London Paddington Station
London Paddington Station

Learn more about how we are structured and organised, as well as how we are corporately governed.

Keeping Britain connected

The coronavirus pandemic has seen passenger numbers fall to a fraction of usual levels, but those who still travelled by train needed us more than ever and this fuelled our determination to provide the very best service to those who depend on us. As well as keeping the railway running for passengers and freight, we have been committed to supporting our tenants, our suppliers and our communities. We provided rent relief for those in our properties and set up faster payment terms for suppliers. We’re also donating hundreds of refurbished laptops to children to support home learning and divert waste from landfill. 

And our people have really stepped up too. In their day jobs, they have worked in unusual and testing conditions to keep the railway running – focusing on keeping themselves and others safe while enabling key workers to travel and moving vital supplies around the country. On top of this, they have donated their time to the national effort, helping to set up Nightingale hospitals, giving much-needed equipment to the NHS and delivering food parcels to vulnerable people in their local areas.

As individuals and as an organisation, we have shown our imagination, agility and strength. We have raised the bar. Now we must keep it up during this important time because these ways of working will be critical for building back better and greener.

Andrew Haines, chief executive
Network Rail staff member helping at a coronavirus vaccination centre

Our performance

An at-a-glance summary of how we performed against our targets for key performance indicators.

Region reports

Focussing on our people

Putting passengers first is at the heart of our people strategy, which also embodies our values of empowerment, safety, care and teamwork.

By focussing on our people, alleviating the things that burden them and prevent them from delivering their best, ensuring that their work adds value, providing an environment that recognises diversity and, through inclusion, will nurture and develop them, then we will be on the side of passengers.

Environmental responsibility

Rail is already the greenest form of public transport and we’re on a journey to a cleaner, greener future. This is a big part of putting passengers first. Caring for our planet is important to our passengers and it’s important to us. We want to make sure our railway is green, resilient to climate change and able to provide a great service for years to come. As well as improving the lives of millions every day, rail has a vital role to play supporting sustainable economic recovery and growth while also helping Government to meet ambitious zero-carbon targets.

In September 2020, we launched our Environmental Sustainability Strategy. It outlines how we’ll create this cleaner, greener railway over the next 30 years, focusing on decarbonisation, climate resilience, improving biodiversity and reducing waste. In 2020/21, we hit the strategy’s first major milestone, becoming the first railway in the world to introduce ambitious science-based targets for cutting carbon.

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