Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: "The Railway Industry Association and its members would like congratulate all those who have been elected to the new Parliament, and we look forward to working with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Government, as well as the Opposition party teams, to build a world-class railway in the months and years ahead.
“All the parties, the new MPs, and those re-elected, now need to recognise that despite the often negative reporting about rail, the railway industry is actually a UK economic success story, doubling passenger numbers and increasing freight services in just 25 years on essentially the same size network, whilst supporting £36bn GVA, 600,000 jobs, £11bn in tax and £800mn in exports. Yet the coming months and years will pose several tests for the railways.
“The Williams and Oakervee Reviews, boom and bust in rail funding, the hiatus on major projects like HS2, the challenge to decarbonise and digitalise the railway within 20 years, the lack of shovel-ready enhancement projects, and a changing international trading relationship as we leave the EU – all these will provide real challenges to rail’s ability to deliver and grow in the future. So RIA urges all Parliamentarians to work with the supply sector to deliver a long-term 30-year strategy for rail, which extends well beyond five-year electoral cycles, as set out in our RAIL 2050 Manifesto, and to help the industry build sustainable, customer-focused rail at home and abroad - ultimately benefiting passengers, freight users, the taxpayer, and the UK economy as a whole.”