User engagement

This page provides our users and stakeholders with information about:

  • our proposals about changes to our statistics;
  • changes in methodology prior to publication;
  • our consultations with the rail industry and other stakeholders.

We encourage feedback from users of our statistics at any time. We will actively seek feedback when we have proposals for changes, which we be clearly highlighted on this page. 

Read our Statement on user engagement.

Proposed changes: Rail finance

The rail finance statistical release provides details of government support to the rail industry in Great Britain. This includes subsidies / premiums paid between government and train operating companies as well as direct support to Network Rail and the public financing of projects such as Crossrail and HS2. A more detailed breakdown of industry income and expenditure is available in the UK rail industry financials.

We are proposing to bring these two annual publications together. This will avoid publishing two sets of finance data at different times of the year, ensure data consistency and allow all finance data to be hosted on the data portal. The first combined publication with data up to and including the 2019-20 financial year is scheduled for release in November 2020.

For more information on the proposed changes, please read ORR's blog on rail finance.

If you have any comments or feedback on these proposed changes, please email rail.stats@orr.gov.uk

Table numbers

Due to changes in how we categorise data since the launch of our data portal last year (our new themes), we have decided to introduce new table numbers for all of our data tables. This should mean that table numbers published under each theme are more coherent. 

The recent publication of our occupational health statistics, full-time equivalent employee numbers and stations managed by operator were the first statistics to be released with their new table numbers. We will roll out the rest of the new numbers with our 2019-20 annual publications and our 2020-21 Quarter 1 releases.

For users who were familiar with the old table numbers, we have produced a spreadsheet detailing the table number changes for each of our data tables.

ORR Data Portal: User engagement survey

Our user engagement survey is now closed but thank you to all users that took the opportunity to provide us with feedback. We have now published the results of the user survey which can be found below.

Improving rail data

Given the majority of our data comes from administrative systems used for operational purposes with statistical use being a secondary purpose we are currently planning a work programme to better understand the quality of the data our suppliers provide. We will work with our data suppliers and use the Office for Statistics Regulation’s standard Quality Assurance of Administrative Data (QAAD) as a toolkit to assist us with our assessment.

We use independent reporters to assess the quality of data provided by Network Rail. The quality is graded on two aspects: system reliability and data accuracy. Reports on completed assessments are published on the ORR website.

A number of other reviews have previously been commissioned by us to ensure that our data are robust and align with stakeholder requirements. These reports are below:

Analytical reports 

Rail statistics management group

The Rail statistics management group (RSMG) is composed of the main industry participants where we discuss possible improvements to rail statistics and research in the rail industry.


We welcome feedback. Please send an email to rail.stats@orr.gov.uk with any comments or suggestions.