Rail services in the UK - Statistics & Facts

In the United Kingdom, the length of rail routes open to passengers has been declining in the past five decades. While 1955 still recorded a peak of 23,820 kilometers, by 2018 this figure had decreased to 14,548 kilometers. In contrast, revenues made from national rail ticket sales have been growing to roughly 9.7 billion British pounds, of which the majority were generated through ordinary fares.

Regarding freight transport, approximately 17 billion net tonne-kilometers were moved in the financial year 2017/18, with figures decreasing since 2014/15, when more than 22 billion tonne-kilometers had been hauled. By comparison, in the same time period the volume of domestic intermodal freight had increased, reaching 6.81 billion tonne-kilometers in 2016/17, before declining slightly the following year.

In terms of passenger travel, London was the busiest region by number of people entering and exiting stations. In 2017/18, more than 1.44 billion entries and exits had been recorded, nearly four times as many as the second busiest region. Of these, Waterloo station accounted for 94.4 million passengers, making it the leading train station in Great Britain.

Railway fatalities have seen a net decline in the past four years, this was mainly due to a decrease in the number of suicides, which amounted to 249 in the most recent surveyed time period. However, figures for fatal accidents had increased to 49 that same financial year. Of these, 36 were caused by trespassing.

In 2017, three percent of the British population tended to travel by train every day or nearly every day. This was one percent more than in 2005. By comparison, the share of people never using rail services had decreased by nine percent in the same time span. Regarding overall passenger satisfaction, the share of users content with the state of the rail network had grown from 73 percent in 2002/03 to 81 percent in 2017/18.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Rail services in the UK".

Rail services in the United Kingdom

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Rail services in the UK" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Rail Freight

Rail Stations

Rail Safety

Consumer Behavior

Passenger Satisfaction


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