Rail statistics information

Guide to rail statistics, accompanying notes and definitions and additional sources reporting on the rail industry.

Information on rail passenger numbers and crowding statistics

Statistics for rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in major cities in England and Wales are based on passenger counts carried out by train operating companies on behalf of the department. These represent a ‘typical’ weekday in autumn and cover National Rail services run by franchised and concession train operators. These statistics do not include Open Access train operators, train operators that are franchised by Transport Scotland, or non-national rail networks.

In 2012 to 2013, user feedback was collected through an online feedback request and wider consultation. A summary note providing details of the uses and users of these passenger numbers and crowding statistics were produced from this consultation.

Rail passenger numbers and crowding statistics: notes and definitions (PDF, 303KB, 17 pages)

Rail passenger numbers and crowding statistics: user feedback (PDF, 133KB, 7 pages)

Information on wider rail statistics

The 5 statistical data series that are published by the department and collate data about the railway in Great Britain include statistics that are originally published elsewhere. The notes and definitions document includes background information on these data tables, their source documents and supporting technical documents.

Rail statistics: notes and definitions (PDF, 342KB, 17 pages)

Most statistics about the rail industry are published by other organisations. Therefore, a number of the statistics that appear in this series are originally published elsewhere. In these cases, more up-to-date and more detailed statistics than those published here may be available from the organisation that produces them.

Other sources of rail statistics are:

Statistics and research accreditation

The rail passenger numbers and crowding statistics were designated as National Statistics in July 2013.

The post holders who are given access to the rail passenger numbers and crowding statistics up to 24 hours prior to release are available in the pre-release access list.

All other statistics published are Official Statistics. The department’s view is that all statistics which are not designated as National Statistics are robust and have been produced to a suitable standard.

Published 28 February 2019
Last updated 24 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Rail passenger numbers and crowding notes and definitions updated for the 2019 report.

  2. Updated for 24th July 2019 publication.

  3. First published.