Railway Benefit Fund


The Railway Benefit Fund, also known as RBF, is a charity that provides support to current, former and retired railway staff and their dependents across the UK.

We’ve been here for railway people since 1858 and today, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’re able to offer help to those who need us. From financial grants and confidential advice to online tools and a legal helpline, we provide a range of services designed to provide support through life’s unexpected events. Our assistance is available to anyone working, or who has worked, in the railway, including passenger, freight, infrastructure, supply chain and ancillary services. We are not a membership organisation and rely solely on fundraising and donations so we can continue to support our Railway Family.

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is for a brighter future for railway people across our nation.

Our mission is to provide customised support to railway people and their families, improving the lives of current and former workers, wherever they are in rail.

Our History

The RBF was founded as the Railway Benevolent Institution in 1858 under our first president, George Glyn, 1st Baron Wolverton, during a meeting held by a group of railway clerks in London. The original purpose of the Institution was to provide a fund for the wives and children of railway workers who were widowed and orphaned due to the dangerous nature of railway work at the time.

Although railway employees paid a subscription to belong to the Institution, it relied very heavily upon public support. One notable supporter of the fund was Charles Dickens, who gave a speech at the Ninth Anniversary Festival of the Railway Benevolent Institution in 1867.