Freight Rail Transport

Freight Rail Transport

The Freight Rail Transport revenue has grown at a compound annual rate of 0.6% to £1.2 billion over the past five years, slipping 3.2% in 2022-23, with the average profit margin reaching 1.4%. Sustainable freight options are aiding revenue growth. Growing concerns regarding fossil fuel consumption drive revenue growth – freight rail companies have made some headway by promoting themselves as a more sustainable option than road freight.

Network Rail has forecast that rail freight could grow by around 30% by 2035 if sufficient capacity were available. The development of the Europe–China rail network and underground rail networks can bolster the growth in this sub-sector.

(Mordor Intelligence, 2023).
Market Size: £1B
Industry employment: 7,278
Number of businesses: 290

(Ibis World, 2023;, 2023; Mordor Intelligence, 2023)


  • Bureaucratic barriers
  • Lack of investment
  • Need for electrified rail access
  • Decarbonisation

(Ibis World, 2023; Railway News, 2023; Rail Engineer, 2023)


  • Increased output from production industries
  • Boosted demand for freight rail services
  • Increased manufacturing activity
  • Growing need for industry services

(IBIS World, 2023)