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Railhub Archive
2001-03-30 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Regulator takes action on train manufacturers' complaint

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Regulator takes action on train manufacturers' complaint

related documents

2001-03-08 Regulator requires more and better information from Railtrack (Office of the Rail Regulator)


30 March 2001
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/09/01

The Rail Regulator, Tom Winsor today announced his conclusions on the complaint made by train manufacturers ADtranz and Alstom alleging that Railtrack had breached its network licence as a result of deficiencies in its processes and information for vehicle and route acceptance. He has concluded that the requirements on Railtrack in Railway Group Standards in respect of information are not adequate because they do not require provision of the information needed for the efficient design and manufacture of rolling stock. Moreover, Railtrack does not have the full information available to it for the acceptance process for new rolling stock, and this is a breach of the company's network licence.

Commenting on his decision, Tom Winsor said:

"I am today proposing to direct Railtrack to ensure that it can provide train operators, rolling stock leasing companies and manufacturers with the information they need for the efficient design, building, commissioning and testing of new rolling stock for use on the network. Last week I published proposals on an asset register licence condition and on the processes for vehicle and route acceptance. These, together with today's direction, will greatly facilitate the reliable introduction of new vehicles onto the network. I recognise that a great deal of work has been done by Railtrack on vehicle and route acceptance procedures, but serious concerns remain about the speed with which it is remedying the information deficiencies."

The Regulator has invited interested parties to comment on his proposed direction. It will require Railtrack to ensure the revision of Railway Group Standards, to place an obligation on Railtrack to provide the relevant information about its network with effect from 1 October 2001, or a later date if it can demonstrate in specific cases that it is not reasonably practicable to achieve this date.

Notes for editors

1. The proposed direction forms part of the Regulator's final conclusions on the complaint made by vehicle manufacturers ADtranz and Alstom in October 1999. The Regulator has concluded that the current Railway Group Standards regime is not fit for purpose in that it does not impose on Railtrack any clear general obligation, either in respect of gauging or in respect of other relevant matters, to obtain and provide information needed by designers and manufacturers of new trains at any stage prior to operation of the trains on the network. The Regulator therefore proposes to direct Railtrack to require Railway Safety to amend Railway Group Standards accordingly. He has found Railtrack in breach of its licence in that it does not have information available for the acceptance process itself, but he considers that the required changes to Railway Group Standards and the proposals in last week's consultation document mean that he does not need to make an enforcement order at present.
2, Railway Group Standards which, among other things, set out procedures for vehicle and route acceptance, are established by Railway Safety (a separate subsidiary of Railtrack Group PLC) under Railtrack's network licence. The Railway Group Standards contain a number of requirements that are not in themselves safety requirements and are, therefore, matters for the economic regulator. They concern in particular information about the network and efficient procedures. The Regulator can direct Railtrack to ensure that Railway Safety performs its obligation under the licence to ensure that the Standards are fit for purpose.
3. On 20 March 2001, the Regulator published proposals for a modification to Railtrack's network licence requiring it to establish and maintain a comprehensive and reliable asset register and on 22 March 2001 the Regulator published a consultation document on improving Railtrack's procedures for accepting new trains to operate on its network. Copies of the consultation document Notice of proposed modification to Railtrack's network licence: Asset Register and Vehicle and route acceptance procedures: a consultation document are available from the ORR Librarian, Sue MacSwan, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2TQ, tel: 020 7282 2001, fax: 020 7282 2045, The documents are also available on the ORR website at
4. The Regulator's document Vehicle and route acceptance: complaint by ADtranz and Alstom, and associated annexes are available via our Rolling stock index page.
Press Enquiries

ORR Press Office: 020 7282 2002/2007
Out of hours: pager 07659 127303

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-03-30 ORR-001


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