Supporting Britain’s development

Harnessing the power of rail to create social and economic opportunities for people and businesses.

Britain’s railways exist to enable socio-economic development, making the rail industry a vital part of our economy. Rail provides an essential network for businesses, supply chains and investment across cities, as well as transporting over 1.7 billion passengers ever year.

Our railways deliver socio-economic value by creating employment, improving social mobility, and acting as a catalyst for development and regeneration across regions. As the owner of much of Britain’s rail infrastructure, Network Rail is in a position to enable widespread economic and social progress and we are achieving this by undertaking additional initiatives to maximise, and measure, positive social performance.

Development is essential for Network Rail to achieve ‘a railway fit for the future’. Work to support Britain’s development is a valuable way in which Network Rail is working towards the RSSB principle of ‘Supporting the economy’ by boosting the productivity and competitiveness of the UK.

What is Network Rail’s approach to supporting Britain’s development?

Network Rail is working to understand future conditions, both social and environmental, that could impact the running of the railway, and what we can do now to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

All railway investments must consider the opportunities for social value alongside the economic value created through infrastructure projects. The social value can be measured through the rail industry’s Common Social Impact Framework. One way of improving local socio-economic growth is to consider the opportunity to recruit local labour, work with local suppliers and work with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Social Performance Management Plans are part of our project management process and ensure we are maximising opportunities for socio-economic growth before, during and after development. This allows us to put passengers first and design a railway which is of use to the passenger.

Key contacts:

For general enquiries, please email

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