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Rail industry

Research guide

Published: 23 May 2017 Updated: 22 Sep 2020 Update History

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Contents

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Online articles

The library provides full access to articles from leading business, finance and management journals. 

Access to articles is provided subject to suppliers’ terms of use.

Useful links

The future of rail
Research paper (April 20220 from the House of Commons Library providing an overview of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the Government's White Paper on rail reform, and some of the key challenges ahead for the railway in Great Britain. This briefing also provides an overview of the current system and how the railway in Great Britain has been structured over the last 30 years.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Industry profiles and SWOT analyses

Industry profiles give an overview of market size in different countries or regions, the competitive landscape and provide a forecast of market performance. These profiles are available exclusively for ICAEW members and ACA students through the Library & Information Service.

Regional reports

Africa

Asia

Europe

Latin America

North America

Oceania

SWOT analyses examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for major companies operating in this sector are available.

If you experience any problems accessing these resources, please see our online resources troubleshooting FAQ.

Other market research specialists

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

Euromonitor
A full listing of reference products and research reports for the transportation sector from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

IBISWorld
Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors. Topics include railway and underground railway construction; intercity passenger rail transport; freight rail transport; urban and suburban passenger rail. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Mintel
Report covering the rail travel worldwid. Includes a contents listing.

Industry news

Need to find the latest news on this industry sector? We can carry out industry news searches using a range of trade titles and general business sources through our databases. To discuss your requirements, please contact the enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

Statistics on the UK

Statistics on the UK

Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)

The ORR publishes rail statistics, including National Rail Trends, which gives data on passenger usage and rail performance.

Rail Freight Group

The Rail Freight Group compiles a brief list of facts and figures covering rail freight and the economy and the environment.

Department for Transport

The Department for Transport compiles a series of rail statistics and produces an annual Transport Statistics Great Britain compendium.

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment – average during the year;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Manufacturing of railway locomotives and rolling stock (30.2)
    See Section C: Manufacturing
  • Construction of railways and underground railways (42.12)
    See Section F: Construction
  • Passenger rail transport, interurban (49.1)
    See Section H: Transport and storage
  • Freight rail transport (49.2)
    See Section H: Transport and storage

Statistics on Europe

Eurostat

Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacturing of railway locomotives and rolling stock (C302)
    See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’
  • Construction of railways and underground railways (F4212)
    See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’
  • Passenger rail transport, interurban (H491)
    See database section ‘SBS – services’
  • Freight rail transport (H492)
    See database section ‘SBS – services’

Global statistics

International Union of Railways (UIC)

The UIC provide access to the Railisa Database, which allows non-members to produce standard reports on different international regions with data on:

  • freight
  • infrastructure
  • key indicators
  • rolling stock
  • production
  • staff
  • passengers.

UIC members have full access to the database.

INDSTAT

The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Railway/tramway locomotives & rolling stock (3520)

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade)

The UN compiles and publishes international import and export statistics in the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade) , giving figures for goods traded by value, quantity and weight for each country.

Statistics are available for:

  • Railway, tramway locomotives, rolling stock, equipment (86)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Electric locomotives (49)
  • Diesel and diesel-electric locomotives (49)
  • Railway or tramway coaches, self-propelled (49)
  • Railway or tramway passenger coaches, not self-propelled (49)
  • Railway or tramway goods vans and wagons, not self-propelled (49)

Employment

UK

Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • rail construction and maintenance operatives; and
  • rail transport operatives.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation

UK

The ORR outlines health and safety regulations for the railway industry in the UK.

Other regions

Air, sea, road and rail transport between the UK and EU - Guidance published by GOV.UK for those working in the transport sector or travelling to the EU from 1 January 2021. Areas covered include: Bus and coach businesses and drivers; Freight, road transport businesses and commercial drivers; Visiting or living in the EU; Aviation and flying; Maritime and shipping; Rail.

The International Rail Transport Committee provides information about rail transport law applicable in Europe and Asia, covering law in practice for both passenger and freight traffic.

Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK key players, ratios and trends

We can produce reports on this sector using selected information from the FAME company database. Reports are available for:

  • Passenger rail transport, interurban
    UK SIC (2007) Code 49.10

Summaries of the three types of report we can produce are given below. You can find further information, a sample report, pricing details and an online order form on our industry sector reports page.

We also operate a bespoke reports service with results tailored to your specifications. Please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com to discuss your requirements.

Key players report

Our key players report looks at the top companies (by turnover) in any one of the segments within this sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures. The reports provide data on 11 comparative fields for the last available year, including:

  • turnover;
  • profit margins;
  • returns on shareholder funds;
  • solvency ratios
  • number of employees.

Our reports enable easy comparison of the top companies in this sector against each other and against the sector median, average and standard deviation in each of the 11 fields.

Mailing list

A separate mailing list report is also available with address and contact details for the top companies in any of the segments within this sector.

Market reports

Our market reports look at the aggregated data for the top companies (by turnover) for any of the segments within this sector across all the fields usually found in a company report. The reports include data for the last 10 years* and enables easy comparison of trends for the whole sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures.

*Please note the number of companies for which data is aggregated will vary for any given year.

The market reports include sections on:

  • key financials and employees;
  • profit and loss account;
  • balance sheet;
  • cash flow statement;
  • financial ratios;
  • financial trends and changes;
  • profitability trends and changes.

UK benchmarking

We offer benchmarking reports that can be used to inform your own business strategy or help you identify value-added services to offer to your clients.

Contact the enquiry team directly on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com for a report tailored to your own specific requirements.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Business & Industry Guide is correct. However, the content of websites changes frequently and users should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes for which they wish to use it. We would be grateful to receive notification of any broken links at library@icaew.com.

Hyperlinks

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