UK rail industry financial information 2016-17


18 January 2018

The UK rail industry financial information 2016-17 presents ORR’s analysis of the rail industry’s finances.

Key findings include:

  • £9.7bn of rail funding came from passenger fares, an increase of 1.1% from 2015-16.
  • £3.4bn came from government funding (net), a decrease of 0.7% since 2015-16.
  • Governments received £0.7bn net from train companies. This is because while companies received £2.5bn of government funding, they also paid a total of £3.2bn to governments under franchise agreements. Northern Rail received the most government funding (£284m) and South West Trains paid the most to governments (£366m).
  • Network Rail received £4.4bn in government grants, £1.5bn in access charges paid by train companies and £0.9bn from other income such as property. It also borrowed £6.1bn from government. This was largely used to pay for £3.4bn of enhancements projects, £2.4bn for the repayment of some of Network Rail’s private sector debt and other expenditure.
  • Franchised train companies’ expenditure increased by 1.7% to £12.6bn.
  • Network Rail’s expenditure increased by 6.5% to £7.6bn.
  • Across the country, expenditure per passenger kilometre was highest in Wales and Sussex at 43p and 40p respectively and lowest in London North West (28p) and Anglia (27p).

Over five years:

  • Income from fares has increased by 18.2%.
  • Government funding (excluding borrowing) has decreased by 21.1%.
  • Train companies expenditure has increased by 20.2%.
  • Network Rail’s expenditure has increased by 20.0%.
  • In 2016-17, government received £0.7bn (net) from train companies. In contrast, governments paid £0.1bn (net) to train companies in 2011-12.
  • Passenger journeys have increased by 18.4%.

Document and data tables