Passenger rail travel in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Published by N. Sönnichsen, Aug 23, 2019
Despite automobiles being the most popular means of passenger transportation, rail services remained an integral part of traveling within and between cities in the United Kingdom. Rail services were used for a distance of 80 billion passenger-kilometers in 2017, following a solid growth in the past three decades.
Men between the ages of 30 and 49 years constituted the most common rail users, traveling on average between 1,045 and 1,084 miles per year. By comparison, the greatest distance covered by women was reported for those aged 21-29 years, at 902 miles, 130 miles more than their male companions of the same demographic.

Unsurprisingly, the busiest train stations were those connected to the London Underground. In 2017/18, 94 million entries and exits of passengers were recorded in Waterloo station, more than in any other. Although only ranking 14th in this list, Clapham Junction saw the greatest number of passenger interchanges that year, over five times the number at Waterloo station.
Such extensive usage of public rail transport also translated into greater income generated from passenger fares. Ordinary and season tickets were responsible for producing a combined 9.7 billion British pounds in income for the rail industry in 2017/18.

In 2018/19, there were 30.1 complaints made for every hundred thousand passenger journeys with British rail services. The rate of complaints had noticeably declined from a peak of 127.8 seen in 2002/03. However, punctuality of train operators was actually decreasing, falling from a high of nearly 92 percent seen in 2011/12 to roughly 89 percent in 2017/18.

In terms of safety on trains, theft of passenger property was the most commonly reported crime on the London Underground. It accounted for nearly every second crime recorded in 2018/19.

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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Passenger rail travel in the UK".

Passenger rail travel in the United Kingdom (UK)

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