Press releases

Regulator’s report shows rail industry continues recovery from the pandemic with increased fares revenue and reduced government support

28 November 2023
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today published its annual Rail Industry Finance (UK) statistical report.
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Busy station, low shutter speed

The report shows the income, expenditure and government funding of the UK rail industry for the financial year 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

The latest year saw the introduction of services to the central section of the Elizabeth line generating additional revenue for the industry. However, industrial action across Great Britain resulted in fewer train services than anticipated. Despite this, passenger revenues continued to recover from the impact of the pandemic and government financial support to the industry reduced.

The key findings include:

Will Godfrey, ORR’s Director, Economics, Finance and Markets said:

 “Our official statistics are an important barometer of the financial health of Britain’s railways. This year, in the context of rising inflation and industrial action, we see that rail has still continued its post pandemic recovery. Passenger journeys have increased significantly, helped in part due to the Elizabeth line’s opening, and were 40% up on the previous year.

“Our figures also show that as a result of returning passengers, fare revenue continued to rise and that Government support for the day to day running of the railway has reduced.”

Notes to editors

  1. Rail Industry Finance (UK) April 2022 to March 2023.
  2. All data tables, a quality and methodology report and an interactive tool associated with this release are published on the rail industry finance page of the ORR data portal.
  3. Operational industry expenditure (including financing costs) was £25.4 billion, a £0.3 billion (1%) annual increase. This was largely due to inflation on index linked debt resulting in a 35% increase in Network Rail's financing costs. These were £4.1 billion in the latest year.
  4. To account for inflation, historic data has been adjusted to April 2022 to March 2023 prices using the average quarter on quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the year.