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.

Photo of Waterloo Station clock by Chris Page for Railfuture

Rail reform

Transport Secretary Mark Harper affirmed his commitment to rail in his George Bradshaw address on 7 February 2023, but the failure to bring forward legislation has kicked the can down the road. Railfuture has put forward a 10 point action plan for any prospective government to put the railways on a sustainable footing.

New class 68 No 68004 is seen working from Norwich to Doncaster (seen here at Peterborough) while 66529 brings an empty stone train from March, bound for Mount Sorrel.  Photo by Jim Wade


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.

Image by iStock.  Stock file ID:516358680. License purchased by chris.page@railfuture.org.uk  on 10/10/2018 order number 2056407676 and assigned to Railfuture. 
Used in a Railfuture briefing on the effects of climate change and the need for investment in rail to provide sustainable transport, which will help to reduce climate change

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.

Modal shift to rail is essential to protect the environment and address social issues whilst growing our economy.

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.

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 fares are increasing in March 2024 whilst road fuel duty is not.

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. Photo by John Brierley with permission via Dennis Fancett.

Restoring Your Railway

Despite the COVID crisis which broke very soon after the government had launched its Restoring Your Railway initiative, the government demonstrated commitment to rail by pressing ahead with the programme. Thirty-eight successful bids in the three rounds of the Ideas Fund were announced. The first scheme, the Northumberland Line, is expected to open in Summer 2024.

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 ticket offices reprieved, the London Travelcard saved, and fare rises in 2023 and 2024 less than inflation. 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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