UK rail industry financial information 2018-19

26 February 2020

The UK rail industry financial information 2018-19 presents ORR’s analysis of the rail industry’s finances.

Industry income in detail

  • The rail industry received £21.8bn of income in 2018-19, an 8.8% increase from last year. This was largely due to the sale of the majority of Network Rail’s railway arches estate, higher fares income and higher government funding.
  • Income from fares was £10.4bn, an increase of 2.6%. This is largely due to a 3.0% increase in passenger journeys.
  • Governments’ funding for the railway was £4.3bn (excluding enhancements), an increase of 8.9%, largely due to increased funding of train operators, particularly for the on-going costs of the new rolling stock. This included £3.9bn for Network Rail and £0.4bn for franchised train operators. The Department for Transport also loaned £6.7bn to Network Rail for enhancements to the rail network (as well as for re-financing legacy debt).
  • Income from other sources increased by 7.0% to £3.0bn. This included £1.5bn from the sale of Network Rail’s railway arches estate and freight income was £0.9bn.

Industry spending in detail

  • Industry spent £22.1bn, a 4.1% increase from last year.
  • Network Rail’s costs increased by 4.5% to £9.3bn. The largest increase was the compensation paid to train operators for delays to services (an increase of £0.2bn). This reflects poor performance by Network Rail on some parts of the rail network.
  • Franchised train operators’ overall costs increased by 8.9% to £14.4bn. This is largely due to increases in access charges paid to Network Rail and increased on-going rolling stock costs.

Document and data tables

  1. UK rail industry financial information 2018-19 pdf icon PDF, 2,395 Kb
  2. Data tables (XLSX)
  3. Data tables (ODS)