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Railhub Archive
1996-04-02 ORR-002
Office of the Rail Regulator


New Code of Practice for access to rail computer systems

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information systems

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Office of the Rail Regulator

New Code of Practice for access to rail computer systems

2 April 1996
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/96/10

The arrangements under which train operators can access, use and develop the computer information systems necessary or expedient for operation of trains on Railtrack's network are set out in a new Code of Practice which comes into effect tomorrow, 3 April.

The Rail Regulator, John Swift QC, has approved the Systems Code, which has been developed by representatives of the new restructured rail industry working together.

Mr Swift said today, "This is another important step in the restructuring of the rail industry, and protects train operators from the possibility that owners of systems which train operators need to use in order to operate trains on Railtrack's network might abuse their monopoly position. It also provides a flexible mechanism for change to enable the industry to respond quickly to changing needs in the fast developing world of information technology."

Production and maintenance of the Systems Code and a catalogue of 'Railway Code Systems' (systems covered by the Code) is a requirement of a new condition, which comes into effect tomorrow, of Railtrack's Network Licence . Where Railtrack is not the owner of a system, e.g. where it is owned by the British Railways Board (BRB), the licence modification requires Railtrack to use "all reasonable endeavours to procure" compliance with the Code. BRB has an agreement with Railtrack under which it will observe the relevant part of the Code.

Amongst the detailed provisions of the Code are the arrangements under which Railtrack is required to enter into contracts or provide licences for computer services for systems covered by the Code - 'Railway Code Systems' - and processes whereby the systems can be developed over time. These arrangements are designed to be fair and equitable and avoid discrimination between participants.

The Code provides for arbitration in the event of a dispute, with a right of appeal, in certain cases, to the Regulator.

Whilst the Code covers designated Railway Code Systems it should be noted that applicable safety standards and Railway Group Standards take precedence over the Code and this fact is explicitly identified within the key principles of the Code.

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-04-02 ORR-002


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