Information from the Office of Road and Rail:

Who does what in the Rail Industry

Railway funding in Britain

Rail infrastructure is split in Britain: Network Rail is the monopoly owner and operator of the national rail network and its assets – such as track, bridges and signalling – while the train operating companies (TOCs) and freight operating companies (FOCs) run the trains.

Funding for Network Rail and the train and freight operating companies comes from a combination of passenger fares, government subsidy and commercial operations. For total railway income, the 2013-2014 figures show:

  • £8.2bn came from passenger fares
  • the franchised rail industry received £3.8bn of net governments’ funding, representing 29% of the industry’s total income
  • £0.5bn came from other sources, such as property, stations retail, freight and other customers

One of ORR’s key responsibilities is to challenge Network Rail to operate efficiently and perform well within the funding it receives.