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Customer Focused Reform

Rail station staff member helping a customer
Train tracks at sunset

The future of rail

Rail can have a bright future, with our workforce at the front and centre of a transformed, growing industry vital to meeting Britain’s net zero targets.

To achieve that goal, we need to have a railway that’s up to date with today’s Britain and is financially sustainable.

The pandemic led to the biggest fall in rail journeys since records began and, while passenger numbers have increased for some journeys and at certain times, they’re still significantly below pre-pandemic levels overall.

The industry is facing a very real financial challenge, with taxpayers still supporting rail with up to an extra £175 million a month, to make up the 30% shortfall in revenue post-covid.

To attract more people onto the railway, we need to recognise that travel patterns are different now (with many more people using rail for leisure rather than commuting) and that the way we ran our services for decades is now holding the railway back.

In part, this means bringing in long overdue, common-sense reforms that would bring the railway up to date, to improve services, punctuality and customer experience. In most cases, these reforms simply extend best practice already in place in parts of the network. 

Reforming the railway for the future

By bringing how we do things into the modern age, we can make sure that the railway is fit for purpose and financially sustainable, securing its long-term future at the centre of Britain’s green economy.

Rail industry leaders have been negotiating with unions for over a year on how we can introduce these much-needed reforms to improve the service we provide to our customers. Proposals that have been put forward include measures that would offer the following:


More reliable services

With less reliance on voluntary overtime on Sundays, meeting the growing demand from customers for leisure travel

Stopwatch icon

Increased punctuality 

Making staff terms and conditions more flexible, so that staff are better able to move around the network and plug gaps in service during disruption and ensure that more trains run on time


Customer-friendly stations 

Bringing stations up to date with the best of modern retailing, with multiskilled staff on hand in new ‘customer help’ roles, offering help across a whole range of areas from buying tickets, to journey planning and supporting those with accessibility needs

A Memorandum of Understanding proposal on the current dispute has been developed by industry and the RMT which sets out a process for a mutually agreed way forward.  It includes a pay rise of 5 per cent for 2022 and job security guarantees.

The MOU is being put to RMT members in each of the Train Operating Companies in a referendum vote. For more information, click here.

Customer focused stations