The ORR regulates the rail industry’s health and safety performance, we hold Network Rail and High Speed 1 (HS1) to account and we make sure that the rail industry is competitive and fair. We are also the monitor of Highways England and we have economic regulatory functions in relation to railways in Northern Ireland and for the northern half of the Channel Tunnel, situated in the UK.
Our functions – Our safety and economic functions are driven by EU and UK legislation – and we are accountable to Parliament and the public. This provides an overview of our role.
Our strategy – Our long-term vision for the mainline railway industry is a partnership of Network Rail, operators, suppliers and funders working together to deliver a safe, high performing, efficient and developing railway.
The law and our duties – We operate within the framework set by UK and European legislation and we are accountable through Parliament and the courts.
Our enforcement powers are established by UK and EU legislation.
The most important laws that apply to us are:
When planning actions we consider:
Strategic significance – We will consider how our intervention will deliver outcomes which are in line with our strategic objectives; for example to secure value for money from the railway, for users and funders.
Are we best placed to act? – In some cases, it may be more appropriate for a body other than ORR to investigate or take action (e.g. a passenger body, the franchising authority or an industry association). We will consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not there are other organisations better placed to take the matter forward.
Costs – For efficiency reasons we will estimate the internal and external costs attached to our intervention. The internal costs will include any opportunity costs (e.g. knock-on effects on our current and future portfolio of strategic work). It is important that the costs of our intervention are proportionate to the impact that we are seeking.
Risks – We will adopt a risk-based approach when assessing whether or not a matter constitutes a priority. The risks that we will consider include:
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Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract extension for the maintenance of 51 Class 185 trains operating in the north of England.
Aurizon has contracted Progress Rail to build a zero-emissions capable battery-powered freight locomotive in Australia.
Taking place in Derby, UK on 6 July 2023, the Rolling Stock Networking event is back bigger and better than ever.
Rolling stock manufacturer, CRRC has officially launched its new intercity smart train, CINOVA2.0 at an event in Qingdao, China.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the preferred route alignment from Bedford to Cambridge for the new East West Rail line.
Tunnel-boring machine (TBM), Phyllis has broken through to the Broadway-City Hall Station on the Broadway Subway Project in Vancouver.
Minnesota legislature has approved 195 million USD in funding for the Northern Light Express (NLX) passenger rail project.
International fleet maintenance and depot managers will come together at Rolling Stock Maintenance & Depot Innovation Europe, 27–29 June.
The Pärnu City government has issued a construction permit for Rail Baltica to build the Pärnu international passenger terminal in Estonia.
The first of Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Class 387 Great Northern Electrostar trains has completed static testing retrofitted with ETCS.
Alstom NUG Propulsion System Co. has successfully applied its silicon carbide and permanent magnet motor propulsion system on a demo train.
The first Talgo Avril very high-speed trains will be ready to enter commercial service on Renfe's network from November 2023.
Alstom, Gulermak and Arcada have been contracted by Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, Romania to construct the city's metro line 1.
The UK government has announced a 72 million GBP package to help deliver more reliable trains in Manchester.
Washington Metro has presented the latest design concepts for its future fleet of trains that will be produced by Hitachi Rail.
Dawlish Sea Wall is set to open to the public at 2pm on 25 May following an 80 million GBP investment to help protect the key railway line.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has appointed DB ESG to deliver the tram safety improvement programme for its Metrolink service.
LA Metro has announced that the Regional Connector light rail transit project will officially open to the public on 16 June.
The Cross River Rail project has reached new milestones in testing ETCS Level 2 signalling on the Shorncliffe Line in South East Queensland.
HS2 workers have completed the first base slab concrete pour at the western end of Old Oak Common station, advancing progress on the key infrastructure project....
Network Rail has announced the next step in its plans to deliver digital signalling across the first section of the East Coast Main Line.
Network Rail has published its 44 billion GBP five-year plan to improve the railway in England and Wales throughout Control Period 7 (CP7).
Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) has contracted Wabtec to modernise 25 Mk3 battery-electric locomotives.
The penultimate train has arrived in Hawaii prior to the Honolulu Rail System commencing passenger service on 30 June this year.
The London boroughs have collaborated on a list of infrastructure projects that should be prioritised, including the Bakerloo line extension.
Hitachi Toshiba Supreme Consortium has been awarded a contract to supply 12 high-speed trains for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation.
LNER, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail have signed an agreement to define how they will effectively collaborate over the next three decades.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced a 2 billion EUR investment in 73 new ICE trains from Talgo and Siemens Mobility.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has selected three prequalified teams to submit proposals for its Red Line Extension (RLE) project.
Stadler has laid the foundation stone for its new maintenance plant for battery trains in Rendsburg, Germany.
A consortium of Webuild, Ghella and Impresa Pizzarotti has been awarded two RFI contracts to construct high-speed rail lines in Italy.
ORR has written to Network Rail to express concerns about its backlog in examining the condition of railway structures.
Alstom and Danish State Railways (DSB) have unveiled a full-size model of the new IC5 Coradia Stream train to the Danish public.
Brightline has become the first passenger rail service to offer Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband service on its trains.
Siemens Mobility has completed a re-signalling project in Gauteng, South Africa to improve the reliability and safety of PRASA services.
LNER is introducing simpler and more flexible fares across its network as part of its mission to transform the UK's ticketing system.
FS Italiane Group has ordered 40 Siemens Mobility Vectron locomotives for TX Logistik AG to operate on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor.
Transport Secretary: Transpennine Express won't have its contract renewed. Instead, it will be brought into Operator of Last Resort.
The FRA has announced the availability of 5.8 million USD in funding for the Interstate Rail Compacts (IRC) Program.
Amtrak has announced plans to renovate its maintenance facilities in Seattle, Boston, New York City and Washington, DC.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will supply Singapore’s LTA with an additional 8 two-car trains for the Sengkang-Punggol LRT network.
Northern has upgraded its depot in Barrow-in-Furness to enable longer trains to operate between Cumbria and Manchester.
The city of Belgrade has contracted DB Engineering & Consulting to project manage the construction of its first metro.
The FTA has awarded 703 million USD in funding to six projects in six states to replace aging passenger railcars.
Professor Mariana Mazzucato will take to the stage for the UITP Global Public Transport Summit as 2023 keynote speaker.
Metro trains have commenced testing under Sydney Harbour as part of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
The New Zealand government has approved funding for 18 new tri-mode trains for the Lower North Island Rail line.
Shahar Hania, CEO and Founder of Rail Vision, says it is time for trains to be fitted with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
As construction continues on the Riga Central Railway Station, Rail Baltica has presented its vision for the future station building.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has unveiled a Rail Inspection Vehicle (RIV) manufactured by MERMEC to identify issues along the track.
Adif has contracted Alstom to develop a new European Traffic Management System (ERTMS) for low-density lines.
Early construction activities are now underway on Amtrak's B&P Tunnel Replacement Program, which commenced in March 2023.
Siemens Mobility has presented the final designs of the Mireo Plus H and Plus B trains for Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB).
Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have released a RFQ for the Advance Tunnel Contract package for the Yonge North Subway Extension.
Škoda Group has been awarded a contract to modernise six Nightjet couchette coaches for ÖBB in Austria by 2024.
Under a new group order, Alstom will supply the metropolitan areas of Toulouse, Brest and Besançon in France with a total of 22 Citadis trams
The 2023 edition of Rolling Stock Networking will be the place to network, make new industry contacts and strengthen existing relationships.
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has taken delivery of its first rail carriage, marking the start of a new partnership with Talgo.
Île-de-France Mobilités has received the final tram for the T10 tramway, which will connect Clamart and Antony in just 25 minutes.
Alstom has been awarded contracts worth 54 million EUR to provide train-control and signalling systems for Delhi MRTS Phase-IV.
Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the full peak Elizabeth line timetable will be introduced on Sunday 21 May 2023.
With Railtex taking place in Birmingham, we take a look at the history of Birmingham’s Curzon Street within the context of HS2.
Alstom has been contracted to supply SNCF Voyageurs with 60 additional RER NG trains for lines RER D and RER E on the Île-de-France network.
Jonn Elledge on the absolute madness that is terminating HS2 at Old Oak Common rather than Euston for the foreseeable future.
Railtex will once again explore the latest products and services aimed at improving the efficiency, safety and sustainability of rail.
Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) first Class 387/1 Electrostar train has been retrofitted with ETCS in-cab signalling.
Canadian National (CN), Union Pacific (UP) and GMXT have established Falcon Premium, an intermodal service between Mexico, the US and Canada.
LA SkyRail Express (LASRE) has partnered with Keolis to deliver a high-capacity SkyRail system between the San Fernando Valley and Westside.
Québec City has awarded a 900 million EUR contract to Alstom for the supply of 34 Citadis trams for the Québec City Tramway.
The FRA has concluded a series of meetings with stakeholders on its Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service study.
We've published our second issue of the year of our digital magazine, in anticipation of Railtex, which takes place in Birmingham in May.
Danske Statsbaner (DSB) has ordered an additional 8 Talgo 230 trains under a 2020 framework agreement with Talgo.
Great Western Railway (GWR) and Eversholt Rail have extended their maintenance partnership with Hitachi Rail.
Schneider National has signed an agreement with Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) to provide an intermodal service on CPKC’s corridor.
Brightline has unveiled its new station at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and has announced that tickets for the service will go on sale in May.
The Greater Cleveland RTA has selected Siemens Mobility as the preferred vendor to replace its ageing rolling stock.
CZ Loko has delivered a EffiShunter 1000 four-axle shunting locomotive to chemical company, BorsodChem in Hungary.
A consortium consisting of Siemens Mobility and Rail Vikas Nigam will provide rail electrification technologies for Gujarat Metro.
HS2 has received design approval for Small Dean Viaduct, which will take HS2 trains across the A413 and local rail lines.
The Eurometropole of Strasbourg and CTS have selected Alstom to supply new trams for the city of Strasbourg, France.
Alstom will supply Level 2 European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling for 37 HLD77 locomotives in SNCB’s fleet in Belgium.
Hitachi Rail will test the latest rail technologies, including battery systems and digital solutions at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence.
Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have officially combined to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC).
Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded contracts to Siemens Mobility and ST Engineering for the Cross Island Line (CRL).
Amtrak has commenced the procurement phase for the construction of the New York East River Tunnel Rehabilitation project.
Siemens Mobility's Vectron locomotive has received official approval to operate on the Scandinavian Corridor.
Siemens Mobility has announced that Brightline will implement Sqills' S3 inventory and reservation system to support its Orlando expansion.
PANYNJ has announced that the first of 72 new rail cars will enter service next week as part of its PATH Improvement Plan.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has contracted Stadler to provide full service for up to 30 Class 99 bi-mode Co’Co locomotives.
The China-Laos Railway commenced cross-border passenger services between Kunming and Vientiane on Thursday 13 April.
The first Class 93 tri-mode locomotives for Rail Operations Group has completed testing at Stadler’s facility in Valencia, Spain.
The government has published its UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which includes a focus on improving mobile coverage for rail.
Skanska Costain STRABAG JV has launched HS2's third London tunnel boring machine (TBM), 'Lydia' to construct the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel.
Knorr-Bremse has begun testing its digital automatic coupler (DAC) in real-world conditions on a freight train in Sweden.
Alstom has been awarded a contract to provide operations and maintenance services for the Maryland Area Rail Commuter network.
Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have issued RFPs for two major works packages for Toronto's Ontario Line.
Territorial planning procedures for Rail Baltica's Kaunas railway hub in Lithuania have entered the coordination and approval stage.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Yellow Line will reopen on 7 May following key rehabilitation work.
Northern and the University of Sheffield have developed new ‘supersonic-cryogenic’ technology that can be fitted onto trains to clear leaves.