About your rail fare

Investment in Britain's railway

Money from fares fuels Britain's railway, a vital public service delivered in partnership with the private sector. The partnership railway connects workers to jobs, businesses to markets, and people to their families and friends. Combined with private investment and government support, this money is enabling unprecedented improvements now and in the long-term, with new trains, better services and improved stations connecting communities and driving growth across the country.

You can find out more about the improvements happening in your area at: www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk

Where does the money from my fare go?

The vast majority of revenue from fares covers the day-to-day costs of running the railway, for example paying for trains, fuel and staff. It also helps to sustain investment in more trains, better stations and faster journeys with train operating companies introducing 7,000 new carriages, supporting 6,400 extra services a week by the early 2020s.

On average, 98p in every pound of your fare goes back into the railway.

Learn more about how fares are calculated and where your fare goes here by reading the Fares Explained Factsheet

Everyone in the railway works hard to get more out of every pound it receives and spends, to make passengers’ and taxpayers’ money go further to help to build a better railway.

How are fares calculated?

Government policy affects all train fares, either through regulated fares or through the payments it receives from train companies. Around 45% of rail fares are 'regulated' with increases directly influenced by government policy. This includes season tickets on most commuter journeys, some Off-Peak return tickets on long distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities.
Successive governments have used July's Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation to determine the increase in the price of these fares. This year’s RPI figure was 3.2% meaning that for the fourth time in the past six years, fares have been held below the rate of inflation.
To find out the cost of your Season ticket, as well as the average cost per journey, go to our Season ticket calculator

Fares increases

On 2 January 2019 rail fares will rise on average by 3.1%.  Not all fares increase: some fares may go up, many will stay the same and some will reduce in price.

Discounting by train companies has contributed to passenger numbers more than doubling in the last 20 years. There were 1.7 billion journeys on our railway last year (2017-18). That's more than 4.7million journeys a day on average.

Tips on how to save money on rail fare

How do rail fares here compare with the rest of Europe?

Research published by the independent watchdog Transport Focus shows that while Britain had relatively high fares for some types of journeys compared to other countries in Europe, it also found that we have some of the lowest ticket prices for long distance journeys with operators now selling more and more cheap tickets.

Britain has Europe's fastest growing railway. UK passenger journey growth since 1997-98 has outstripped France, Germany and Spain. According to the most recent EU Commission survey, rail customers in the UK were more satisfied than those of any other major European railway.

Read more about the 2019 rail fares