Railfuture campaigns nationally and locally for a rail system which will provide better, value-for-money rail services for both passengers and freight, over a bigger rail network. Recent events at Dawlish have shown the need for rail network resilience.

A Successful Railway

Railfuture want the railway industry to be successful, so that it can grow both in market share and in route miles, to create a bigger better network. To achieve this, the industry and government need to get ten key success factors right.

Northern powerhouse

Railfuture consider that there is an opportunity for rail to turn the great Northern cities of Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull into a single strategic economic entity linked by a fast high capacity rail network to realise the economic potential of the region as a global powerhouse.

Railfuture is campaigning for new rail lines to be opened, and some closed lines to be reopened, to increase capacity and resilience in the strategic network by creating alternative routes between major centres, to provide additional metro services for our growing cities, and to connect isolated towns.
One of the crucial missing links is the Oxford - Cambridge East-West Rail route as part of the Electric Spine. Another is Uckfield to Lewes which will promote economic growth in East Sussex by providing access from the Weald to employment in Brighton, help regenerate Newhaven, and provide additional peak capacity between the South Coast and London to relieve the Brighton Main Line.

Improved services

Railfuture campaigns for faster, longer more frequent trains and bright, clean, more secure stations to attract more passengers to rail and support economic growth. Lines where improved services are urgently needed include the Mid-Cheshire line, Gainsborough - Cleethorpes via Brigg and Marshlink.

New Stations

As new communities and business locations are created, so new and reopened stations are needed to serve them. One of our current campaigns is to reopen Lea Bridge station to help regenerate a deprived area, where Railfuture has helped to sponsor a consultant's report.


Electrification transforms a railway. It is faster, more efficient, more economical to run and more comfortable for passengers. We are campaigning to ensure that the commitments made in the HLOS by the Department for Transport to electrification, including the 'Electric Spine' and the Midland Main Line, are fulfilled.

High Speed 2

Britain's railways face a capacity crisis which is not going to go away. There is no "do nothing" option. Additional enhancements to existing lines to increase capacity are very welcome, but these cannot provide the step change that new lines can provide. It's not an "either or" choice - we need upgrades to the classic network and a new high-speed network too. HS2 is the only game in town. If HS2 is abandoned, we run the risk of losing this investment for decades. Therefore, Railfuture supports the route of Phase 1 with the exception of the HS1/HS2 link, which we believe needs to be re-evaluated along the lines of the Euston Cross proposal. We support the proposals for Phase 2 with some refinement of station locations on the Leeds arm of the route. We urge the Government to press ahead with proposals for Phase 3 to connect Scotland.

South west rail resilience

Following the breach of the sea wall at Dawlish and flooding east of Exeter which have cut off Devon and Cornwall from the rest of the rail network, Railfuture call for a stakeholder conference to agree the need for resilience of the network and support for economic growth in the south-west, expressed in terms of the normal level of service required and the minimum acceptable level of service in times of disruption. Potential solutions can then be assessed against the agreed need and an assessment of risk to determine which solutions should be funded and implemented.


Rail is the most sustainable form of transport over distances where walking and cycling are impracticable. Railfuture campaigns for increased use of rail transport for passengers and Freight Group, and supports cycling as a means of accessing train services.

Successful campaigns

We need a successful, growing railway industry which operates for the benefit of the community, the economy and the environment. Over the past 50 years we have played a major part in getting over 370 stations built or reopened, and over 500 miles of new route added to the network.

Our cause | Passengers | Freight | Network | Submissions | Fighting Fund | Policy