Railfuture campaigns nationally and locally for a rail system which will provide better, value-for-money rail services for both passengers and freight, over a bigger rail network.

Transport Secretary

Rail reform

Transport Secretary Mark Harper affirmed his commitment to rail in his George Bradshaw address on 7 February 2023. GBR will go ahead to create a joined-up railway, with more customer focus and an enhanced role for the private sector. It must dramatically improve the cost efficiency of operating, maintaining and enhancing the railway to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers.

Image by Heathrow Express

Satisfied passengers save money

Railfuture campaigns for satisfied passengers!

The rail industry must focus on delivering the best journey experience for all travellers. Rail services must be more welcoming, frequent, reliable, convenient, clean, comfortable, safe and above all reasonably priced. Good customer service costs nothing, but needs well motivated staff.

Satisfied passengers will travel by rail again, increasing rail revenue, reducing the cost of the railways to the taxpayer and so enabling cheaper fares. Get it right and the rail industry will contribute to economic growth.

Credit Railfreight.com


Railfuture campaigns to get trucks off the road and on to rail.

Rail is the most environmentally sustainable form of transport, so a target of doubling freight transport by rail is the most cost-effective way to shift freight traffic from road to rail, reduce road congestion and achieve net zero by 2050.

PHO:2020.08.03 - SWR smartcard

Fares (and Ticketing)

Fares must be repriced to deliver value for money, remove the anomalies which lead to split-ticketing and encourage more people to choose the train - particularly for travel to the workplace. We are disappointed that the March 2022 fare rises were inflation busting at 1.8% above the generally preferred measure of inflation.

Many people have discovered that they can work from home so the trend away from 5 day commuting will accelerate. The flexi-season ticket options recently introduced are a step in the right direction but are perhaps not flexi or smart enough to encourage people to travel more frequently, to avoid a Tuesday – Thursday peak, and to integrate with other forms of public transport.

Photo 2 of 3 of a charter train promoted by SENRUG to campaign for a passenger service on the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne railway line whilst travelling

Restoring Your Railway

Despite the COVID crisis which broke very soon after the government had launched its Restoring Your Railway initiative, the government is demonstrating commitment to rail by pressing ahead with the programme. Thirty-eight successful bids in the three rounds of the Ideas Fund have been announced – a common factor of these bids, if convincing Strategic Outline Business Cases are developed, is that the projects would connect significant numbers of people to the rail network, increasing their opportunities in life.

Some of the other 161 bids submitted (or resubmitted) across the three rounds could offer worthwhile benefits. We aim to engage the promoters and the sponsoring MPs to offer our support in them nevertheless making progress.

Purchased from iStock

Electrification - lowest cost and zero carbon

Reducing the cost of operating rail services and meeting the government's zero carbon objectives for transport require funding for a sustainable rolling programme of electrification for Britain’s railways using a mix of technologies including overhead wiring, third rail, battery and hydrogen.

Although rail travel is reduced in the short term, modal shift to rail is essential to protect the environment and address social issues whilst growing our economy. The capacity of the rail network must be doubled to achieve this.

HS2 Ltd

High Speed Rail

Our position on HS2 is simple: stick to the plan.

New high speed rail lines are essential to provide the capacity and connectivity between Britain’s major cities required to deliver environmentally sustainable economic growth over the next 100 years.

There's more

Northern Powerhouse. Linking the great Northern cities of Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull by a fast, high capacity rail network will create a single strategic economic entity to realise the economic potential of the region.

Light Rail. Light rail is the most effective mass transit solution for cities with a traffic congestion problem. Cities such as Vienna, Amsterdam or Bordeaux, where trams are an integral part of the public transport system, have far less congestion and rate as some of the most liveable cities in the world.

Go and compare. Railfuture searches for examples of best practice worldwide which can be applied in Britain.

Branch campaigns. Each Railfuture branch also runs local campaigns for improved rail services and expanding the rail network.

Fighting Fund

As well as working at local and national level with train operators and other stakeholders to secure a better railway. Railfuture makes awards to campaigners from its Fighting Fund to bring about improvements. Awards have been given, for example, for publicity initiatives and feasibility studies.

Information for campaigners including events, campaign guides, sources of funding and local groups.

Consultation responses

Before making major policy decisions, both national and local government run formal consultations to find out what the public think about the issues. Railfuture’s realistic, informed submissions are well respected, so the rail user viewpoint is considered and we can influence those policy decisions.

Successful campaigns

Our campaigns are frequently in the news.

Railfuture's fares campaign has notched up success with the recognition by the Transport Secretary that fares could rise in line with the lower CPI not RPI, and the Rail Delivery Group's 'Easier Fares for All' proposal. Railfuture campaigns have helped to open more than 400 new stations and over 950 km of new routes since 1960, supporting economic growth and providing new journey opportunities to passengers, and led to the 'Restoring Your Railway' Fund.

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