Boom in rail travel creates 10,000 jobs
30 September 2013 • Author: ATOC
A boom in rail travel has led to train companies employing more than 10,000 extra staff compared to 15 years ago.
In 2011-12, train operators employed 50,100 people, a 25% increase on the 39,700 staff working for them 15 years earlier, according to the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). The increase in staff comes against a backdrop of operators running 20% more services a day and carrying 73% more passengers.
Overall, staff productivity – measured by comparing the number of train company employees to the number of passengers – has increased by 37%, while satisfaction with services has also increased. In the latest survey by the independent watchdog, 82% of passengers rated their journey as good or satisfactory, compared to 76% when the survey began in 1999.
Train operators have been recruiting more people into customer facing roles such as train crew and station attendants, as well as drivers and conductors to staff the 4,000 extra services running each day now compared to 15 years ago. For example:
- ScotRail – since taking over its franchise in 2004, First ScotRail has increased the number of people it employs from 3,461 to 4,700, an increase of more than 35%. At the same time, journeys have increased by 30% and the number of kilometres covered by its services is up 19%
- Chiltern – since 1997, Chiltern Railways has more than trebled the number of train guards it employs (18 in 1997 compared to 62 in 2013) as the number of services it operates has increased by 59% and passenger numbers by 133%
- Arriva Trains Wales – has increased its staff from around 1,800 in 2003 to 2,100 today – a 17% increase. The number of services it runs has increased by 20%. It has also recently created eight apprenticeships to support the maintenance of its trains and work in customer facing roles in stations
Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of ATOC, said:
“By encouraging more people to travel on the railway, train companies are oiling the wheels of the British economy. Not only are operators growing the market for train travel, they are also increasing their workforce, supporting 10,000 additional jobs and generating extra money for Government.
“The extra staff taken on by train companies has been far outstripped by the increase in passengers and satisfaction with services is at a near record high. This highlights the focus operators have on providing passengers with better services.”