Market study into the supply of signalling systems


Given the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis, we have taken the decision to close the market study at this time. This will allow industry to focus on operational and safety issues during these challenging times.

Closure of market study

We considered that carrying on with the study would place too great a burden on industry during this difficult time, and it would be challenging for us to gather the required evidence to reach a fair and accurate decision by the legal deadline of 26 July 2020.

We would like to make it clear that the signalling market remains a key focus for ORR, and re-opening the study when the railway returns to a 'steady-state' will be a high priority.

Our market study notice sets out that we will not be making a market investigation reference at this time.

Launch of market study

27 January 2020

We have launched a market study into the supply of signalling systems.

Signalling systems are an essential part of the railway. They keep passengers safe by ensuring trains do not come into conflict with each other and play a key role in freeing up capacity on our congested network.

This study builds on ORR’s recent work in the signalling market, notably our engagement with the European Commission about the proposed merger of Siemens/Alstom, which was blocked in February 2019.

We intend to focus on the level of competition for the delivery of significant signalling projects. We want to look at the strength of competition for tenders, and, whether there are any barriers to innovation or new entrants entering with new technology solutions. In particular, we will examine whether there is fair and commercially reasonable access to interlocking technology, and other aspects of the installed railway infrastructure base, which are necessary to deliver complex signalling projects in GB.

We are inviting comments on our proposed approach and areas of focus set out in the below Statement of scope from interested parties by 24 February 2020.

Date Action
27 January 2020 Launch
24 February 2020 Deadline for responses to the Statement of Scope
26 July 2020 Deadline for Market Investigation Reference (MIR) decision