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

Around 98p in every £1 from fares goes back into running and improving services.

Fares increases

On 2 January 2018, rail fares rose on average by 3.4 per cent.  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.

Regulated fares

Around 40 per cent of rail fares are 'regulated', including Season tickets on most commuter journeys, some Off-Peak return tickets on long distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities. The government uses July's Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation to determine the increase in the price of these fares.

Government policy affects all train fares, either through regulated fares or through the payments it receives from train companies. Train companies paid the government more than £800million net last year, helping government to support the biggest investment in our railway since Victorian times.
To find out the cost of your Season ticket, as well as the average cost per journey, go to our Season ticket calculator.

 Tips on how to save money on rail fares

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about rail fares.

Where does the money from my fare go?

On average, 98p in every pound of your fare goes back into the railway1.

The vast majority of revenue from fares covers the costs of services, for example paying for trains, fuel, staff and other day-to-day running costs, and helps to sustain investment in more trains, better stations and faster journeys.

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 much have rail fares risen over the years?

At around £5.46, the average price paid for a single journey is less now in real terms than it was ten years ago .

The average price paid per journey on a Season ticket has fallen in real terms by 15.1 per cent since 1999-2000.

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.

1 The latest report 'Rail Finance 2016-17 annual statistical release' and further information can be found at ORR.gov.uk

Read more about the 2018 rail fares (RDG website)