International engagement and co-operation


This page outlines the organisations, forums and platforms we are involved with to fulfil our international work and support cross-border services.

We work with multiple organisations and stakeholders across both our economic and safety functions to improve regulatory performance. Many of those platforms and groups remain important sources of information as well as collaborative exchange. 

We have continued to be an active participant of the following networks since the UK left the EU.  

Independent Regulators’ Group-Rail (IRG-Rail)

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We joined IRG-Rail as a founder member in June 2011. 

IRG-Rail is a network currently comprising of independent rail regulatory bodies from 31 European countries. It acts as a platform for co-operation, information exchange and sharing of best practice between national railway regulators to face current and future regulatory challenges in railways and to promote consistent application of the European regulatory framework.

International Liaison Group of Government Railway Inspectors (ILGGRI)

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ILGGRI is an informal platform for contact between the independent European National Safety Authorities (NSAs) and their representatives. 

Its purpose is to function as a medium of knowledge exchange and co-operation for safety regulators in Europe. 

It is also a forum to co-ordinate thinking on safety related issues of common interest and review relevant policy proposals at European level. We currently provide the secretariat function for ILGGRI. 

European Union Agency for Railways (ERA)

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ERA was set up to develop procedures within the framework of railway safety and interoperability.

It is responsible for contributing to the implementation of EU legislation aimed at supporting a competitive, open market for rail. This is done in two ways:

  • by enhancing the level of interoperability of railway systems
  • by developing a common approach to safety on the European railway system

The agency does this by issuing recommendations and opinions to the European Commission and, in the case of opinions, to Member States. 

To form these recommendations, the agency works with member state's National Safety Authorities (NSAs), including holding up to four network meetings a year, and organises topic-specific working groups .

As a safety authority, ORR monitors ERA’s activities where it has relevance for the UK sector and also holds collaborate exchanges with the agency. Although the UK is no longer in the EU, we currently attend the NSA network meetings and the supervision subgroup, as an observer. 

Information centre 

ERA acts as an information centre for the development of safety on the railways. It holds a public database of relevant documents and it publishes a report on the development of railway safety every two years. It will support the national bodies in their co-operation to further harmonise NSA decision-making principles and investigation methods.

ERA works closely with all the stakeholders of the rail sector to develop its proposals. It has established working groups to allow for a wide consensus on the new approaches to be reached.

The aim of all these activities is to contribute to the creation of an integrated European railway where rail transport can be competitive.

UK Transport in Europe (UKTiE)

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We are a member of  UKTiE, an association representing Britain’s leading transport companies and organisations, across all the modes. 

It was launched in 2012 to facilitate constructive engagement between UK transport representatives, the UK Government and EU institutions. 

UKTiE’s primary objective is to facilitate engagement with the EU and Member States to make the EU-UK relationship as mutually beneficial as possible for the transport sector.

Other international engagement

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 We have formal and informal engagement with regulatory bodies and NSAs, particularly those we shared cross-border rail routes with. 

In particular, we work closely with French authorities in regulating the Channel Tunnel and its services. 

We have also also held learning exchanges with other NSAs and we have hosted safety bodies from several countries including the US, Egypt, Brazil and South Korea. 

We support other parts of the rail industry and government, including the Department for Transport (DfT), DBT (Department for Business and Trade), RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) and Network Rail in their own international work. 

For regulatory bodies, NSAs and other stakeholders that are looking to engage with ORR, please visit our webpage on international visits.

International visits

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We welcome the opportunity to share expertise with countries throughout the international community, where resources allow and within the boundaries of our remit.

As a publicly funded body, we prioritise national organisations with similar functions to our own and official delegations on programmes organised with UK Government.

If you are interested in arranging a meeting, please complete our form. Please note that we generally requests six weeks' notice from the date of receipt of the form for the visit to be arranged.