History of rail transport in Great Britain 1995 to date

This article is part of a series on the History of rail transport in Great Britain.

The period from 1995 covers the history of rail transport in Great Britain following the privatisation of British Rail. During this period, passenger volumes have grown rapidly,[1] safety has improved,[2][3] and subsidies per journey have fallen. However, there is debate as to whether this is due to privatisation or to better government regulation. During this period, High Speed 1 and the West Coast Main Line upgrade were completed and more construction projects are currently under way. In this period the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic occurred which caused a precipitous fall off in rail travel demand.[4][5][6]

Rail Passengers in Great Britain from 1829 to 2021.
Rail subsidies from 1985/86-2016/17, including funding for Crossrail and HS2.[7]

Overall rail subsidies have risen, as shown in the graph, although spend per journey has decreased. Rail subsidies have increased from £2.9bn in 1992–93 to £3.8bn in 2015–16 (in current prices), although subsidy per journey has fallen from £3.85 to £2.19.[8][9] However, this masks great regional variation: for instance, in 2014–15 funding varied from "£1.41 per passenger journey in England to £6.51 per journey in Scotland and £8.34 per journey in Wales."[9]

Due to the increase in passenger numbers and the prospect of high speed rail both within Great Britain and connecting to Europe, this period has been called the start of a new Golden Age of rail travel.[10][11] However quickly increasing passenger numbers have meant many trains (as many as 1 in 6 in some places) are very crowded at peak times.[12][13] Peak-time fares have increased by over 200% (since privatisation) to deter people from travelling at these times,[8] whereas the price of advance tickets has halved in the same period.[14] The COVID-19 pandemic however, caused a massive drop in passenger numbers even though freight transport held up fairly well.

Government policyEdit

Reform under the Labour government (1997–2010)Edit

Rail modal share of Passenger Transport (1952–2015)[15]

The Labour government (elected in 1997 after the majority of the privatisation process had been completed) did not completely reverse the railway privatisation of the previous administration. Initially it left the new structure largely in place, however its main innovation in the early years was the creation of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), initially in shadow form until the Transport Act 2000 received Royal Assent, as well as the appointment of Tom Winsor as Rail Regulator, who took a much harder line with the rail industry, and Railtrack in particular.[16]

In the wake of the Hatfield rail crash in 2000, Railtrack entered into financial meltdown and the industry was in deep crisis. Labour refused to continue to bail out Railtrack and the company was put into Railway Administration in 2001 and a new company, Network Rail emerged to replace Railtrack in 2002. Since September 2014, Network Rail has been classified as a "government body".[17][18]

The Strategic Rail Authority lasted just five years. Following the passing of the Railways Act 2005, its business was wound up and its functions transferred to the Department for Transport Rail Group and the Office for Rail Regulation.[19] Further changes followed, which saw the government take back a greater degree of control.

Another important development occurred in the aftermath of the Potters Bar accident in May 2002 when a commuter train derailed (coincidentally on the same stretch of the East Coast Main Line as Hatfield) due to poorly maintained points. This resulted in Network Rail taking all track maintenance back in-house and the industry went on to enjoy the longest period in modern times without a fatal accident due to industry error. This came to an end in February 2007 when a Virgin Trains West Coast Class 390 Pendolino derailed near Grayrigg in Cumbria, killing one person. The cause of the accident was identical to that in Potters Bar nearly five years earlier – once again calling into question Network Rail's maintenance procedures.

In 2007, the government's preferred option was to use diesel trains running on biodiesel, its White Paper Delivering a Sustainable Railway,[20] ruling out large-scale Railway electrification in Great Britain for the following five years.

Following Gordon Brown's appointment as Prime Minister in 2007, Andrew Adonis was appointed Transport Secretary. He immediately began work on plans for a new high-speed route between London and Birmingham (later known as High Speed 2), which would augment the West Coast Main Line. Adonis also announced plans to electrify the Great Western Main Line from London as far as Swansea, as well as infill electrification schemes in the North West of England to remove diesel traction from certain key routes. Late in 2009, the InterCity East Coast franchise collapsed for the second time in three years when incumbent operator National Express East Coast (NXEC) proved unable to meet its financial obligations. Adonis transferred the franchise to the state-owned Directly Operated Railways to operate the route under its East Coast subsidiary.

In February 2009, the Department for Transport setup a company called Diesel Trains Ltd with the intention of funding and managing the procurement of up to 200 diesel multiple unit vehicles as part of the British Government's planned purchase of as many as 1300 new rail vehicles.[21][22][23] It was incorporated following the announcement of the first 200 vehicles in late 2008 as part of the Pre-Budget Report - the speed of this announcement (the final contract to be signed in April 2009) led the government to take the lead in financing the procurement, through a public company. However, the DfT stated that it did not intend to serve in the long-term as a lessor of rolling stock. As a consequence, the DfT planned to sell Diesel Trains Ltd once the procurement process was completed, either as a whole, or by selling its assets and contracts.[24]

Diesel Trains Ltd was to have responsibility for the purchase and distribution of 202 DMU vehicles to three TOCs - First Great Western, First TransPennine Express and Northern Rail. The order itself was to encompass a total of 61 trains, with 19 four-car and 42 three-car.[25]

Following the announcement in August 2009 that the Great Western Main Line was to be electrified, the order for 202 DMUs was cancelled. After lying dormant for three years, Diesel Trains Ltd was dissolved in July 2012.[26]

Reform under the Coalition government (2010–2015)Edit

After the 2010 General Election, the new Conservative led Coalition continued Labour's rail policies largely unaltered after a pause to review the finances. There was continuing support for the High Speed 2 scheme and further developing plans for the route, although great debate still rages over the scheme's benefits and costs. Whilst initially showing scepticism towards the electrification schemes of the Great Western route, they later gave the project its backing and work began formally in 2012. Plans were also mooted to electrify the remainder of the Midland Main Line.

In 2012, the franchising system again came under criticism after FirstGroup was awarded the InterCity West Coast franchise. Incumbent Virgin Rail Group initiated a judicial review against the decision, citing the fact that First's bid was even more ambitious than the one which had scuttled National Express East Coast less than three years earlier. Before the review took place however, newly installed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin scrapped the entire bidding process for the franchise and granted Virgin an extension to its contract when "severe technical flaws" were discovered in the original bidding competition.

The Conservative government (2015–present)Edit

The Government has moved towards allowing more competition on the intercity network through open access operators. In 2015 it approved a service run by Alliance Rail Holdings to operate between London Euston and Blackpool, and in 2016 it allowed FirstGroup to run open access services on the East Coast Main Line from October 2021 under the operating name Lumo.[27][28]

Fare increasesEdit

Much debate continues over annual fare increases, although the government has now pledged to keep regulated rail fare increases at Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation for the remainder of this Parliament.[29] In addition much debate has continued over the financing of various rail schemes driven primarily by the huge cost and time overrun on the GWML route modernisation and electrification scheme. In connection with this, and to coincide with the Chancellor's Autumn statement in November 2015, the Bowe and Hendy reports were produced.[30][31]

Rail strikesEdit

Since April 2016, the British railway network has been severely disrupted on many occasions by wide-reaching rail strikes, affecting rail franchises across the country.[32] The industrial action began on Southern services as a dispute over the planned introduction of driver-only operation,[33] and has since expanded to cover many different issues affecting the rail industry;[32] as of February 2018, the majority of the industrial action remains unresolved, with further strikes planned.[34] The scale, impact and bitterness of the nationwide rail strikes have been compared to the 1984–85 miners' strike by the media.

Infrastructure projectsEdit

In March 2016, the National Infrastructure Commission said that Crossrail 2 should be taken forward "as a priority" and recommended that a bill should pass through Parliament by 2019 and the line should be open by 2033.[35] Crossrail 2 is a north–south railway through London, similar to the east–west railway Crossrail which is currently under construction.

In July 2017, Chris Grayling, the secretary of state for transport announced a number of electrification schemes were to be suspended indefinitely citing the disruptive nature of electrification works and the availability of bi-mode technology. The schemes included aspects of the GWML including Cardiff to Swansea, the Midland Main Line from Kettering to Sheffield via Derby and Nottingham and Oxenholme to Windermere in the Lake District.[36]

In February 2018, the five-year plan was published by Network Rail with significant investment though much of this was for renewals and smaller projects rather than major projects.[37][38] In March 2019 the Railway Industry Association published a paper entitled Electrification Cost Challenge.[39]

In July 2019, the Urban Transport Group released a report that showed regional rail travel had experienced a 29% growth in the ten years to 2017/18.[40]

On 24 July 2019, Grant Shapps was appointed Secretary of State for Transport under the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.[41]

The Transport Select Committee have met on a number of occasions since early 2020 and considered the 'Trains Fit for the Future" ongoing enquiry which was started under the previous session under Lilian Greenwood's chairship. The report, published in March 2021, recommended a rolling programme of electrification and for the DfT to quickly publish a list of “no regret” electrification schemes. It was stated that Network Rail had already supplied a list to the DfT.[42][43][44]

The TDNS (Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy) Interim Business case was published in September 2020. The main theme was electrification of 13,000 single track kilometres of UK railways.[45]

In September 2020, the Government permanently got rid of the rail franchising system.[46] On 20 May 2021, the Government announced and published a white paper that detailed how it would transform the operation of the railways.[47] The rail network will be partly renationalised, with infrastructure and operations brought together under a new company Great British Railways. Operations will be managed on a concessions model. According to the BBC, this represents the largest shake-up in the UK's railways since privatisation.[46]

On 18 November 2021, the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) was published.[48] This affected parts of the HS2 programme including curtailing much of the eastern leg but did include full Midland Main Line electrification and upgrades. Also included was a commitment to the Transpennine north railway upgrade to include full electrification.

On the back of the IRP, the Union Connectivity Review was also published in November 2021. The Union Connectivity Review was announced on 30 June 2020 by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It was stated that Sir Peter Hendy would chair the review. The terms of reference were published 3 October 2020.[49] An interim report was published March 2021.[50][51][52]

The final report was published on 25 November 2021.[53][54] The responses from third parties as of 29 November 2021 has been mainly positive.[55][56][57][58][59][60] Some say that the two reports (UCR and IRP) also need to be integrated.[61] In December 2021 The Telegraph newspaper reported in an apparent leak that the treasury had decided not to provide fund further electrification and thus help to decarbonise the railways.[62][63][64]

The official announcement and confirmation that the Midland Main Line between Kettering and Market Harborough was being electrified and spades would be in the ground starting 24 December 2021 was made on 21 December 2021.[65][66]

COVID-19 pandemic effect on railways in Great BritainEdit

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom occurred in this period and caused a catastrophic fall off in the number of passengers using the rail network although freight held up reasonably well.[67][68][69] How this will affect the long-term health of the rail industry remains to be seen. Despite the pandemic the Traction Decarbonisation Strategy Interim Business case was published dated 31 July 2020.[70] In addition, Network Rail also published its Environmental sustainability strategy.[71]

In direct response to falling passenger numbers and revenues, the Wales & Borders operator Transport for Wales Rail was put into public ownership by the Welsh Government on 7 February 2021.[72]

Infrastructure projectsEdit

Completed projectsEdit

The British railway system continues to be developed. Contemporary projects include:

  • The West Coast Main Line upgrade (West Coast Main Line route modernisation) was a long-term project covering a series of technical aspects. Improvements included the four-tracking (from three) of the Trent Valley (a bypass of the West Midlands), redesigning the layout of several junction/stations e.g. Rugby and other associated work to increase line speed. This culminated in tilting trains at 125 mph being extended to Glasgow in 2005. The cost overruns of the programme are infamous - attributed to the wide scope of the programme (the promise to Virgin to build a 140 mph railway which would require moving block signalling) and poor project management by the defunct Railtrack.[73]


  • High Speed 1, a project to construct a 67-mile (108 km) high-speed rail line from London to the British end of the Channel Tunnel, and involving a great deal of complex civil engineering including a 1,404-yard (1,284 m) bridge over the River Medway, a 2-mile (3.2 km) tunnel under the Thames near Dartford, a 2-mile tunnel through the North Downs, 12-mile (19 km) twin tunnels running into central London, a major new railway station extension to London St Pancras, and a complex redesign and rebuild of the King's Cross St Pancras tube station. The southern phase 1 of the project opened in September 2003, and northern phase 2 opened in November 2007.
  • The electrification of both the Liverpool to Manchester line and Liverpool to Wigan lines were completed in 2015 and electric Class 319 trains (on the Liverpool to Manchester Airport service) and Class 350s (on the Manchester Airport to Scotland services) have replaced diesel units. The lines between Preston and Blackpool North and also Preston - Manchester have been electrified with completion in 2018.
  • Electrification of the Cross-City Line to Bromsgrove has been completed, which allowed electric trains to run from summer 2018.[74][75]
  • Trains from the north east to Manchester Airport now use a new section of railway, the £85 million Ordsall Chord, between Manchester Victoria and Manchester Oxford Road to access Manchester Piccadilly and continue to the airport without the need to reverse at Piccadilly and without conflicting movements at the station throat. This has been completed.


  • The Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway, a 13-mile (21 km) extension to the network, to the north of the Firth of Forth in Scotland. A Bill for the railway was passed by the Scottish Parliament and received Royal Assent in August 2004. Work commenced in September 2005, with services running by early 2008. The line re-establishes a railway decommissioned in 1983; the new line provided passenger connections to Glasgow, and freight links between the site of Kincardine power station, now used as a loading point for coal from open-cast sites, to avoid heavy traffic through Kincardine, and Longannet power station, and the coal terminals at Hunterston Deep Water Port. Longannet power station closed in 2016. The passenger part of the scheme, from Stirling to Alloa was in any case secure, and the Scottish Parliament appear to be in favour of passenger services being extended to Rosyth. This could possibly result in passenger stations serving the communities of Clackmannan, Kincardine, and Culross or Valleyfield, and through trains once more from Stirling to Dunfermline.
  • A short extension of the Glasgow-Hamilton-Motherwell, which once again links Larkhall to the railway network after 40 years. Larkhall has for some time been the largest town in Scotland without a railway station. The new £35 million line follows an existing formation, and services to Larkhall railway station resumed on 12 December 2005.[76] The new section of route is electrified and is served with trains from Dalmuir, via Glasgow Central Low Level, with connections from other northern suburbs of Glasgow such as Milngavie.
  • The Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link was completed in December 2010. The Airdrie-Bathgate project was quite extensive insofar as it included double track electrification, the present remnant of the line from just outside Edinburgh to Bathgate having been largely singled some time ago.
  • The Glasgow Airport Rail Link was given the go-ahead by the Scottish Parliament in December 2006 but the project was scrapped by the new SNP minority government in September 2009. A new 1.5-mile (2.4 km) spur was to be built onto the existing Inverclyde route. An element of the project that did go ahead was upgrading the Glasgow Central - Paisley line to triple track to increase capacity on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes. This work was completed in 2012.
  • A 35-mile (56 km) section of the Waverley Route from Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders has been rebuilt after approval by the Scottish Parliament, which reopened on 6 September 2015. This project, also known as the Borders Railway, restored rail services to communities which have lacked access to the National Rail network since the Beeching cuts.
    • The Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme or "EGIP" was an initiative started by the Scottish Government to upgrade the main railway line between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High. The route via Shotts was then to follow. It was expected to cost around £650 million. In May 2017, a further delay was announced due to a safety critical component on the via Falkirk High route needing to be replaced.[77]
  • The line between Glasgow Queen Street railway station and Edinburgh Waverley railway station via Falkirk High railway station was electrified and electric trains started running in December 2017.
  • The rolling programme of electrification in Scotland saw lines from Edinburgh and Glasgow electrified to Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa.
  • The Edinburgh to Glasgow Central line via Shotts was completed on time and on budget.[78]


  • The Welsh Assembly Government re-opened the Vale of Glamorgan Line between Barry and Bridgend in 2005 and the Ebbw Valley Railway between Ebbw Vale Parkway and Cardiff Central in 2008. An extension of the line to Ebbw Vale Town opened in 2015.

Current developmentsEdit

  • High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned[79][80] high-speed railway which will initially link the cities of London and Birmingham, followed by further extension to North West England and Yorkshire. Construction of the first phase of HS2 began in 2017 with a planned opening date of 2026, while completion of the entire network is expected in 2033. Phase One of HS2 will run between London Euston and the proposed new Birmingham Curzon Street station. Phase two will create two branches: a western leg to Manchester Piccadilly, and an eastern leg to the proposed Leeds New Lane station via the East Midlands Hub (serving Derby, Nottingham and Leicester) and Meadowhall Interchange (serving Sheffield). Phase 2A from Lichfield to Crewe received Royal Assent on 11 February 2021.[81]
  • The Thameslink Programme started in 2009 and is expected to be completed in December 2019. The project includes the lengthening of platforms, station remodelling, new railway infrastructure (e.g. viaducts) and additional rolling stock, which will allow Govia Thameslink Railway to expand their Thameslink services further north and south.
  • The Northern Hub is a rail project across Northern England aimed at stimulating economic growth by increasing train services, reducing journey times and electrifying lines between the major cities and towns in the north.[82] The project was announced as the Manchester Hub, entailing a series of upgrades to cut journey times between cities in Northern England by alleviating rail bottlenecks around Manchester.[83][84] Central to the project is the resolution of rail bottlenecks around Manchester city centre allowing more capacity and faster journey times between the northern cities. The construction of two through platforms at Piccadilly will allow an increase to 14 trains per hour from 10. Manchester Victoria station is being modernised to become the east–west rail interchange in northern England. Services from Liverpool to Leeds and beyond will be diverted from the Cheshire Lines route via Warrington Central and Manchester Piccadilly to the electrified line via Newton-le-Willows and Manchester Victoria.
  • On the Great Western Main Line, Network Rail plans to spend £5 billion[85] on modernising the GWML and its South Wales branch plus other associated lines like the North Cotswolds[86] which was completed in 2011. The modernisation plans were announced at separate times but their development time-scales overlap each other to represent a comprehensive modernisation plan for the Great Western and its associated lines during the second decade of the 21st century. The modernisation includes: electrification, resignalling, new rolling stock and station upgrades. According to Network Rail, the modernisation started in June 2010 and will end in 2017.[87] On 8 November 2016 the government announced that several elements of the Great Western Main Line electrification programme would be indefinitely deferred due to cost overruns and delays.[88][89] This was confirmed by Chris Grayling in July 2017 stating specifically Cardiff -Swansea electrification was cancelled and bi-mode availability made this possible without disruptive electrification works.[36]
  • Crossrail is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway line under construction in London and its environs. It is expected to begin full operation in 2021 with a new east–west route across Greater London. Work began in 2009 on the central section of the line—a new tunnel through central London—and connections to existing lines that will become part of Crossrail.[90] Crossrail's aim is to provide a high-frequency commuter/suburban passenger service that will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, via central London, to Essex and South East London.
  • Scotland
    • Scotland has committed to a rolling programme of electrification to decarbonise the network by 2045 but with an even more aggressive target for decarbonisation of the passenger network by 2035.[91] The first announced project is the electrification of the route to Barrhead and East Kilbride.[92] As well as electrification, double tracking from Busby to East Kilbride is planned as well as lengthening platforms at existing stations. Part of the project scope includes relocating Hairmyres station and a complete rebuild of East Kilbride station.[93][94][95]
    • Scotland has also published a plan and split it into components identified as: in delivery, in development or under active consideration. As of 2021 projects in delivery include improvements to Aberdeen Station and other renewals in the Carstairs area and also Motherwell. The electrification to East Kilbride is also included in this category. The branch line to Levenmouth is being reopened but the electrification work is to enable Battery electric multiple unit operation rather than full electrification. In 2021 projects considered in development are mainly those that support the decarbonisation agenda. New electrification will require new 25kV Grid Feeders and upgrading existing ones to handle the increased electrical load. Partial electrification of the Borders Railway are included here along with Barrhead and Haymarket to Dalmeny and Leven. Projects classed as under active consideration again are almost exclusively those supporting the decarbonisation agenda and include most if not all future phases of decarbonisation plan. All of Scotland's seven cities are included and thus include improvements and electrification the routes out of Aberdeen including to the Central Belt and Inverness. The Highland Main Line from Perth to Inverness is also included in the plan. This obviously requires continuation of the previous scheme from Stirling to Dunblane and Alloa. So Dunblane to Hilton junction and Perth along with all the other necessary infrastructure improvements such as route clearance are part of the infrastructure upgrade plan. The Fife Circle line and extensions to Longannet and Dundee and Perth are all part of this. Electrification in Ayrshire and south west of Glasgow are under active consideration too.[96]
  • Wales

Timeline of improvementsEdit


  • May: The Todmorden Curve reopened, allowing direct trains to operate between Manchester and east Lancashire. The Curve had been closed in 1965 with the tracks lifted in 1972.[97]
  • December: Apperley Bridge station reopened, after being closed in 1965. It is the first of two stations between Leeds and Shipley in West Yorkshire to be reopened.[98]


Class 700 Desiro City



Class 800 Super Express







  • Services due to start running on the western section of the East West Rail from Oxford to Bletchley.[179]
  • ETCS signalling will be installed on the ECML between London and Peterborough.[180]
  • Bolton (Lostock) to Wigan electrification scheduled for completion.[181][182]

Present locomotives and rolling stockEdit

Diesel locomotivesEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)
Class 08 DB Cargo UK
Great Western Railway
Riviera Trains
Class 20 Harry Needle Railroad Company
Class 33 West Coast Railways Class 37 Colas Rail
Direct Rail Services
Rail Operations Group
West Coast Railways
Class 43 Abellio ScotRail
Great Western Railway
Network Rail
Class 47 Colas Rail
Locomotive Services
Rail Operations Group
West Coast Railways
Class 56 Colas Rail
Class 57 Direct Rail Services
Great Western Railway
West Coast Railways
Class 59 Freightliner
GB Railfreight
Mendip Rail
Class 60 DB Cargo UK
GB Railfreight
Class 66 Colas Rail
DB Cargo UK
Direct Rail Services
GB Railfreight
Class 67 Colas Rail
DB Cargo UK
Class 68 Direct Rail Services
Chiltern Railways
TransPennine Express
Class 70 Colas Rail
Class 73* GB Railfreight
Network Rail

* BR Class 73 is an electro-diesel locomotive which allows electrified and non electrified route workings.

Electric locomotivesEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)
86 Freightliner   88 Direct Rail Services
90 DB Cargo UK
Locomotive Services
91 London North Eastern Railway
92 DB Cargo UK
GB Railfreight
73a GB Railfreight
Network Rail
Eurotunnel Class 9 Eurotunnel

a BR Class 73 and 88 are electro-diesel locomotives which allow both electrified and non electrified route workings.

Diesel multiple unitsEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)
150 Great Western Railway
Transport for Wales
  153 East Midlands Railway
Transport for Wales
155 Northern 156 Abellio ScotRail
East Midlands Railway
Abellio ScotRail (158)
East Midlands Railway (158)
Great Western Railway (158)
Northern (158)
South Western Railway (158, 159)
Transport for Wales (158)
Chiltern Railways (165, 168)
Great Western Railway (165, 166)
Abellio ScotRail (170)
CrossCountry (170)
East Midlands Railway (170)
Northern (170)
West Midlands Trains (170, 172)
Southern (171)
Transport for Wales (170)
175 • Transport for Wales
180 East Midlands Railway
Grand Central
185 TransPennine Express
  195 Northern   196 West Midlands Railway (from 2021)
Avanti West Coast (221)
CrossCountry (220, 221)
East Midlands Railway (222)
230 West Midlands Trains

AC electric multiple unitsEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)
315 London Overground
TfL Rail


Greater Anglia (317)
London Overground (317)
Abellio ScotRail (318)
Greater Anglia (321, 322)
Abellio ScotRail (320)
  323 Northern
West Midlands Trains
  331 Northern   332
Heathrow Express (332)
Northern (333)
  334 Abellio ScotRail 345 TfL Rail
  350 West Midlands Trains   357 c2c
  360 East Midlands Railway
  365 Great Northern
373 Eurostar 374 Eurostar


Greater Anglia 380 Abellio ScotRail
  385 Abellio ScotRail   390 Avanti West Coast
  397 TransPennine Express   801 London North Eastern Railway

Dual AC/DC electric multiple unitsEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)


Southern   319 Northern
West Midlands Trains
325 DB Cargo UK for Royal Mail 375
London Overground (378)
Southeastern (375, 377)
Southern (377)
387 c2c
Gatwick Express
Great Western Railway
Great Northern
Heathrow Express
395 Southeastern
700 Thameslink   717 Great Northern

DC electric multiple unitsEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Image Class Operator(s)
442 South Western Railway


South Western Railway
455 Southern
South Western Railway
456 South Western Railway
458 South Western Railway 376 Southeastern
Southeastern 507

Bi-mode diesel/electric multiple unitsEdit

Image Model Operator(s) Image Model Operator(s)
  769 Northern
Transport for Wales
  800 Great Western Railway
London North Eastern Railway
  802 Great Western Railway
Hull Trains
TransPennine Express


Image Model Operator(s) Image Model Operator(s)
Mark 2 Direct Rail Services
Locomotive Services
Network Rail
Riviera Trains
West Coast Railways
Mark 3 Abellio ScotRail (HST)
Chiltern Railways
Great Western Railway
Network Rail (HST)
Mark 4 London North Eastern Railway
Transport for Wales
Mark 3 Sleeper Great Western Railway
  Mark 5
Mark 5A
Caledonian Sleeper
TransPennine Express

Details of withdrawn locomotives and rolling stock: See article Withdrawn British Rail stock

Future rolling stockEdit

Image Class Operator(s) Type Image Class Operator(s) Type
769 Great Western Railway
Rail Operations Group
Transport for Wales
Bi-mode 777 Merseyrail DC EMU
484 South Western Railway
(Island Line)

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "NATIONAL RAIL TRENDS 2009-10 YEARBOOK" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Railway safety statistical report 2007" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Cut rail fares to counter Covid slump in train travel, watchdog urges". The Guardian. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Coronavirus: Train services to be cut amid falling demand". BBC News. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Impact of Covid-19 on the railways: could the pandemic bloster rail travel?". www.railway-technology.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  7. ^ "ORR Rail finance 2016/17" (PDF). p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b Have train fares gone up or down since British Rail? Archived 14 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 22 January 2013
  9. ^ a b "Rail industry financial information 2015-16 | Office of Rail and Road" (PDF). orr.gov.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  10. ^ Beanland, Christopher (10 July 2014). "Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age". The Independent. London.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Pre-Covid trains left one in six rush hour passengers standing". BBC News. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  13. ^ "UK Government overcrowded trains" (PDF). UK Government. 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "The facts about rail fares - Stagecoach Group". Stagecoach.com. 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Department for Transport Statistics: Passenger transport: by mode, annual from 1952". Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Getting back on track -- rail regulator, Tom Winsor has come up with a three-year plan to repair the shattered reputation of Railtrack". Law Society Gazette. 11 May 2001. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  17. ^ Stewart, Heather. "Network Rail to be 'government body', adding £30bn to UK national debt". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  18. ^ ONS decision on the classification of Network Rail Archived 13 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Department for Transport 17 December 2013
  19. ^ "Department for Transport – GOV.UK". Dft.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  20. ^ Delivering a Sustainable Railway - White Paper CM 7176 Archived 29 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Railnews - Government sets up company to by-pass Roscos for 202 new DMUs". railnews.mobi. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  22. ^ "DfT sets up its own ROSCO to buy TPE and Northern trains". www.transportxtra.com. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  23. ^ "New UK Company to Speed up Rail Carriage Procurement". Railway Technology. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2022.
  24. ^ DfT - Purchase of 202 Diesel Multiple Unit Vehicles Archived 7 March 2009 at the UK Government Web Archive - 5 March 2009
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Further readingEdit