The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has launched a report highlighting the fact that the economic value of the UK rail network is significantly higher than predicted. The rail system is now known to contribute over £36 billion annually to the UK economy, which holds a greater economic impact when in comparison to the food, drink or tobacco industries.

Approximately 600,000 jobs are supplied by the rail sector, £11 billion is produced annually in tax revenue and the system generates £2.20 of income from every £1 spent on the rail network, making rail a key pillar of the UK economy.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “The report published shows that the economic value of rail to the UK is considerably bigger than previously thought. These new figures take into account the full impact of the rail industry and the implications of this report are clear. The UK rail system should not be seen just as a vital mode of travel but also as a key industry for the economy in its own right. We urge the Government to consider and use the findings of this report when developing its Industrial Strategy agenda, negotiating trade deals with other countries once we have left the EU and when promoting our world-class exports offering overseas generally.”

 The full report can be accessed here.