The Future of Rail

The Future of Rail is sponsored by:


Keeping Britain on the move

Great Britain pioneered rail travel since the 19th century and has transformed how people across the world can travel. Today Britain’s railways employ over 270,000 people. Their passion and knowledge ensure over 1.9 billion people each year travel safely across our network.

Through innovation how could rail journeys be made better, simpler, safer or more enjoyable for both passengers and staff?

Think about problems large or small and the solutions that might make a difference.

From tickets to toilets or signage to seating – what would you change to personalise rail travel truly and make it inclusive and accessible for everyone and fit for the future? What problems have you or your family faced? How can we make rail travel more affordable? How can you make it easier to arrive at a new city or new station for the first time? How can we make rail transport easier for everyone? How could the passenger experience be ‘personalised’? What about the interior of a carriage – could it be more flexible? Can we make it easier for passengers to shop or work?

Can new technologies or energy sources make rail a 21st century transport option, capable of meeting modern challenges such as increasing ‘weather bombs’?

What we know:

  • As populations grow, more people will need to travel. By 2050 passenger mobility demands could increase by up to 300%
  • Extreme weather will continue to challenge journeys, with increasing instances of flooding, winds and rising temperatures
  • Advances in data communication continue to enable technologies such as signaling and onboard train traffic management systems to communicate
  • Increasing demands for energy mean rapidly developing new sources such as hybrids and battery-powered train engines are being devised
  • Expectations to access high speed rail as well as rural and commuter travel underpin the social and economic growth across Britain
  • Freight traffic by rail (food and consumables) could increase by 40% by 2030

We will be running some special innovation days in connection with this category. More news about these soon.