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Railhub Archive
1997-09-19 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Accelerating introduction of new rolling stock: Rail Regulator's conclusions on Railtrack's rolling stock acceptance procedures

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Accelerating introduction of new rolling stock: Rail Regulator's conclusions on Railtrack's rolling stock acceptance procedures

19 September 1997
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/97/23

The Rail Regulator, John Swift QC, today announced the conclusion of his investigation of concerns raised by train operators about Railtrack's proposals to change its procedures for the acceptance of rolling stock for use on the rail network. These proposals followed a number of difficulties which had arisen with the approval process for new rolling stock.

Mr Swift has concluded that there is a need for clear and well documented arrangements between Railtrack and those progressing plans for new rolling stock, setting out clearly the rights and obligations of all those involved. He considers there should be changes to the industry's Group Standards and its Track Access Conditions which will strengthen rules governing Railtrack's behaviour as controller of much of the information and associated processes relevant to rolling stock acceptance. Moreover he has made clear that he expects Railtrack to make a positive contribution to promoting the introduction of new services on the network.

Railtrack has now agreed to develop and propose these changes through the consultative process with the industry.

Speaking today John Swift said, "The commitments made by the railway industry to invest in new rolling stock will generate major benefits for passengers and freight customers. Safety is always a paramount concern in railway operation and must remain so. But the procedures under which the safety of new rolling stock is tested must operate fairly and efficiently. Moreover I expect Railtrack to work with operators in helping with the introduction of new trains. I welcome Railtrack's commitment to bring forward proposals to achieve this."

Copies of the paper, "Rolling stock acceptance procedures: conclusions of the Regulator's investigation", are available from Sue MacSwan, ORR Library, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2ST. (Tel: 0171 282 2001; Fax: 0171 282 2045; E-mail:


1. The Regulator's investigation concerned the procedural arrangements for the acceptance of rolling stock for operation on the network. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have a statutory role for rolling stock approval under the Railways and Other Transport Systems (Approval or Works, Plant and Equipment) Regulations 1994. The HSE also monitor the overall railway safety performance.

2. The Track Access Conditions are the rules governing key aspects of access to Railtrack's network, including the arrangements for introduction of new trains, and they are incorporated in the contracts under which operators use the network. The Access Conditions can be changed through a process including a committee of industry representatives.

3. The Track Access Conditions do not cover the process of safety approval. The technical and operating requirements are set out in the railway industry's Group Standards. These are produced by an independent Safety and Standards Directorate within Railtrack, under a process involving consultation with the railway industry.

4. The process of rolling stock safety approval is one which requires Railtrack, and those seeking approval, to work together to demonstrate that a train can be operated safely on Railtrack's network and on identifying the changes to rolling stock or the network to enable this to happen.

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-09-19 ORR-001


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