New figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) show that UK rail travel started to rebound between April and June 2021, following the gradual easing of government covid restrictions.
Overall, there were 182 million rail passenger journeys made between April and June this year. This is more than five times the 35m journeys made in the same quarter last year.
However, this is still a long way down on the 437m journeys made in the same quarter two years ago.
Looked at in conjunction with Department for Transport statistics, numbers indicate that passenger rail use in the United Kingdom began the quarter at around 30 percent of pre-coronavirus levels, before increasing to as high as 55 percent in early June.
Passenger revenue was 999m GBP (1,175.31m euros | 1357.48m USD), which equates to 35.9 percent of the 2.8 billion GBP (3.29bn euros | 3.8bn USD) made the previous year – based on 2021–22 quarter one (Q1) prices.
Franchised passenger revenue per journey also fell, from 6.26 GBP (7.36 euros | 8.5USD) in Q1 2019–20 to 5.45 GBP (6.41euros | 7.4 USD) in Q1 2021–22. This was due to a combination of a decrease in average journey length and an increase in the proportion of journeys made using off-peak tickets.
The London and south east sector recorded 127m journeys in 2021–22 Q1, which equates to 42.2 percent of the 301m journeys made in the same period two years previously.
London Overground (55.9 percent) recorded the highest relative usage this quarter with TfL Rail (53 percent) and c2c (48.2 percent) also recording around half of the journeys made in 2019–20 Q1. By contrast, Chiltern Railways had a relative usage of 34.5 percent this quarter.
The regional sector recorded 40m journeys in 2021–22 Q1, giving a relative usage of 41.2 percent.
The long-distance sector recorded 14m journeys over the same period, equating to 39.3 percent of the 36m journeys made in 2019–20 Q1.
In this month's column, Jonn Elledge muses on the future of HS2's eastern leg and the political tug of war taking place behind the scenes.
Next month the first phase of industry engagement on the UK’s new passenger service contracts (PSCs) will begin.
Network Rail has awarded Hitachi Rail and Linbrooke S a contract to design a digital signalling solution for the Gloucester area.
After a 50-year hiatus, the Dartmoor Line will resume regular passenger services between Okehampton and Exeter St Davids next month.
A footbridge made from super-strong fibre-reinforced plastic has been installed in Bicester to replace a footpath level crossing.
Scotland’s First Minister has said that decarbonising transport, including rail services, can help reduce the threat of climate change.
HS2 tunnel boring machine ‘Florence’ has passed the one mile mark, cutting through a mix of chalk and flint beneath the Chiltern hills.
Network Rail has announced a £25m plan to protect the Newport-Gloucester line from further damage caused by extreme weather.
Vivarail’s next-gen battery train will be launched at COP26 this November, and will run daily services throughout the event.
The British government's Operator of Last Resort will run Southeastern services, following a £25m breach of the franchise agreement.
HS2 has invited six bidders to tender for a major two-part enabling works contract for its recently approved Phase 2a section.
The amount of freight moved across the Uk's railway has returned to pre-pandemic levels according to new Office of Rail and Road statistics.
The Chair of the Williams Rail Review warns it’s now or never to radically overhaul Britain’s confusing and outdated rail fares system.
Transport for London (TfL) has opened the new extension to the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea Power Station.
TfL's recent ad campaign to get passengers back using its trains and buses is a symptom of its underlying funding woes, writes Jonn Elledge.
A new report showcases UK rail as a major economic sector that’s driving growth, investment and jobs right across the United Kingdom.
Network Rail has completed upgrades at Hayes & Harlington station ahead of the Elizabeth line opening in the first half of next year.
One year on from the start of phase one's construction, HS2 has announced that 20,000 people are now working on the high-speed rail project.
New research by the Rail Delivery Group has highlighted the negative effect new commuting habits could have on city centre economies.
HS2 has confirmed the shortlist of bidders to build its control centre and rolling stock maintenance depot.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published its interim report into the cracks found in Hitachi's Class 800 trains.
RAIB has made recommendations to London Underground in its report into a fatal accident that took place at Waterloo Underground station.
Network Rail's completed signalling work on new track near Peterborough that will divert freight trains under the East Coast Main Line.
New open access operator Lumo will offer direct, fully electric rail services between London and Edinburgh starting at £14.90 for a single.
The upgrade works at Bristol East Junction have been completed with full train services at Bristol Temple Meads having been resumed.
Network Rail has chosen Thales Ground Transportation to develop and trial fibre-optic acoustic sensing technology.
HS2 Ltd has published revised images of the Adelaide Road headhouse in Camden, after changes were made to the design.
National Rail has launched Alert Me by WhatsApp, which gives passengers real-time personalised travel information via the messaging app.
Images of HS2’s Chesham Road rural headhouse, which will provide emergency access to the 10-mile-long Chiltern tunnel, has been unveiled.
Network Rail is delivering works to prevent the tracks between Crewe and Chester from flooding as part of the Great North Rail Project.
23 new signals and 109 pieces of associated signalling equipment have been installed around Trafford Park under the Great North Rail Project.
The companies shortlisted to build HS2's Interchange Station in Solihull have been named by HS2 Ltd. The contract is to be awarded in 2022.
Network Rail’s southern region has invested over £1.8bn in the railway to support the UK’s mission to ‘build back better’.
The 13-mile electrification project between Wigan and Bolton has been given the go-ahead by the British government.
Specialist divers are pouring underwater concrete to protect two major West Coast main line railway viaducts in Carlisle.
Data from the UK rail industry shows bank holiday weekend ticket sales to seaside destinations have surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
Leaders from across Yorkshire and the North East of England have contributed to a report demonstrating the importance of HS2's Eastern Leg.
Major railway upgrades have now been completed in Manchester as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).
UK: The Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Office for Rail and Road have developed a Better Value Rail toolkit.
Special rail services have run between Newcastle and Morpeth in advance of the reintroduction of passenger trains on the Northumberland Line.
The track upgrade works at Bristol East Junction have reached their halfway point. Work is scheduled to be completed on 3 September 2021.
Transport for Wales has signed an agreement with Colas Rail UK for the purchase of Pullman Rail Ltd, which operates from its Cardiff depot.
SCS JV has signed the first of two contracts for the production of tunnel segments that will be used to construct HS2’s London tunnels.
Work begins to link the South Wales Metro Control Centre to the rail network ahead of the arrival of the new fleet of metro tram-trains.
In a UK first, on-site 3D reinforced concrete printing will be deployed by HS2's London tunnels contractor SCS JV.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have developed an algorithm that can cut train delays, allowing services to recover faster.
Hybrid cars built in the Midlands will soon be carried to continental Europe via an eco-locomotive that runs on hydro-treated vegetable oil.
A special event has taken place to mark 20 years of operation by the Voyager and SuperVoyager Intercity fleets.
With the UK’s House of Commons summer recess now underway, the RIA's warning of a summer of uncertainty could now become a reality.
The complete Alstom Pendolino fleet leased by Avanti West Coast is undergoing refurbishment, an investment of 117 million GBP.
Excavation of the vent shaft at Chalfont St Peter has begun in Buckinghamshire. It is the first of five on the HS2 Chiltern tunnels section.
A prototype electrified rail freight terminal is to receive funding from Innovate UK and the Department for Transport.
HS2 designers are set to more than halve the amount of embedded carbon used in one of the high-speed rail project’s viaducts.
A fire at Troon station on 17 July has seriously damaged the station building as well as an overhead power line.
Passengers at Liverpool Lime Street station can now get free, unlimited WiFi that’s fast enough to support video calls and streaming.
The UK government has published its Decarbonising Transport plan, in which it also lays out how it will decarbonise rail by 2050.
GTR is sub-leasing six of its Class 387/2 Gatwick Express trains to GWR to assist with capacity following the cracks found in the Class 800s.
This month Network Rail will connect a new tunnel north of Peterborough to the existing railway as part of the East Coast Upgrade project.
HS2 has begun its search for a team of specialist ground investigation contractors for the western leg of Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester.
High-speed parcel deliveries to city centres will soon be made by converted passenger trains showcases Network Rail and Orion.
Liverpool Street Elizabeth line station has been officially transferred to TfL, providing immediate benefits to passengers at Moorgate.
The Rail Delivery Group is calling on the UK government to introduce policies that will help shift freight from road to rail.
Further weekend closures of the Northern City Line have been confirmed to enable work on the East Coast Digital Programme.
HS2 has launched Cecilia, the second of two 2,000t tunnelling machines that will excavate ten-mile-long tunnels beneath the Chiltern Hills.
The first four Innovia 300 monorail units for the Alstom-led Cairo Monorail project have been completed and in transit to the Egyptian city.
The Woolwich Elizabeth line station has officially been transferred from Crossrail to Transport for London (TfL).
The Scottish government is to provide a further £5.6m emergency funding to Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the pandemic.
Network Rail lays its first composite railway sleepers across the weight-restricted Sherrington Viaduct between Salisbury and Warminster.
The ORR has published findings showing that train operators kept passengers well informed during the Class 800 cracking issue.
The rolling stock owner and railway asset manager Porterbrook has taken over the Long Marston site, where it will develop a rail innovation centre.
Work begins this July on a major project to improve railway signalling on a key section of the West Coast main line in the UK’s North West.
Permanent works on HS2's Old Oak Common station have got under way today with phase 1 seeing the construction of a 750,000m3 underground box.
HS2 has obtained approval for a scheme that will use excavated material to create new chalk grassland, woodland, wood pasture and wetland.
English commuters are now able to purchase flexible season tickets. These can be used for travel from 28 June.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has extended GTR’s Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (ERMA) until 31 March 2022.
The ORR has launched the 2023 Periodic Review – the process for determining the funding needed for Britain’s rail network from 2024-2029.
The RDG has warned that a cut in domestic air passenger duty would see thousands of passengers shift from rail to air.
Network Rail has awarded Siemens Mobility the contract to deliver GRIP stages 4-8 of the Devon and Cornwall re-signalling programme.
Network Rail says that more freight is now being transported across one of its busiest business regions than before the pandemic.
ScotRail has agreed a five-year maintenance contract extension for its fleet of Siemens Mobility Class 380 trains.
An in-depth look at the Williams-Shapps plan to transform Britain's railways following the launch of the Williams Review in 2019.
HS2 begins search for a construction partner to build Interchange Station. This will be at the centre of the new high speed rail network.
The ORR has launched a 'lessons learned' review to examine how the cracking issue in the Hitachi Class 800 trains occurred.
TfW has said goodbye to its last Pacer trains after more than 30 years of service, marking the end of an era for Britain’s railways.
No trains ran to or from London King’s Cross this past weekend as work continued on Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade.
Euston has become the first station in the UK to offer updates on disruptions in British Sign Language, making the station more accessible.
The Railway-News Magazine Issue 2 2021 Is Here! The second issue of the Railway-News e-magazine of 2021 celebrates the return of real world events by taking ...
A year on from its investigation into poor train performance in the NW&C region, the ORR has announced that progress has been made.
HS2 Ltd has revealed a new vacuum excavation technique for piling which could have massive benefits for the wider construction industry.
The UK government has announced a significant railway funding boost for the north and Midlands valued at 401m GBP.
East Midlands Railway EMR and AV IT Media have produced a commemorative documentary on the High Speed Train (HST).
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has found Network Rail’s progress in delivering against its Control Period 6 (CP6) plans broadly on track.
Transformation of the Wales and Borders network has moved another step closer with the first Class 197 trains coming off the production line.
FirstGroup has signed two National Rail Contracts for TransPennine Express and South Western Railway, which will commence in May 2021.
The UK government has announced a set of reforms for the railways in Britain, including scrapping the franchise system and simplifying fares.
Eurostar has reached a refinancing agreement with its shareholders and banks worth £250m (289.9m euros | 353.9m USD).
The University of Birmingham has relaunched the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (NCATI).
Work is underway on the final stage of a major project to transform London King’s Cross’ track layout, which will reduce congestion.
UK rail companies have added more than 2,500 daily services to their timetables, which come into play today.
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