Skip to content


  • Add this article to your LinkedIn page
  • Add this article to your Twitter feed
  • Add this article to your Facebook page
  • Email this article
  • View or print a PDF of this page
  • Share further
  • Add this article to your Pinterest board
  • Add this article to your Google page
  • Share this article on Reddit
  • Share this article on StumbleUpon
  • Bookmark this page

UK Rail needs to plan for 2050 if it is to offer seamless, integrated and passenger-centric services

For UK Rail to achieve the best possible passenger outcomes and retain its role as an essential transport mode in the long term, industry needs to take bold action and look beyond short-term or isolated horizons. This is according to a new report, "Changing Track: The Future of Rail", by PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy.

The research was based on using long-term scenario planning and the views of over 200 transport leaders across Europe, including Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group, ORR, Crossrail and several leading train operating companies.

The report suggests that rail must plan for 2050, rather than the end of CP6 and sets out 5 key steps on how industry can work together to deliver improvements across the railway, in particular how to create a unified vision for rail and focus on delivering improved outcomes for passengers. It also anticipates the recommendations of the imminent Williams Rail Review, directly outlining where reform can be best harnessed to ensure that rail retains its role as an essential transport mode in the UK.

Charlotte Warburton, Global Head of Rail, PA Consulting, says: "We’ve turned extensive research into a meaningful set of insights to support the industry as it adapts and transforms, pushing rail further, faster. As we anticipate deep and lasting industry reform, our report offers a tangible framework to help navigate the complexities of change and deliver a brighter future for rail in the UK."

In support of the report, Mark Gaynor, Head of Railway Planning at Rail Delivery Group says: "This report provides a fresh approach and robust recommendations on how to look further into the future to enact change in the railway today – and make it stick. RDG and its members welcome the opportunity to explore future scenarios in greater detail as we consider long-term railway planning in 2020 and beyond."

What 5 steps can rail take to transform for the future?

download our latest report

Contact the transport, travel and logistics team