Rail investigations


We protect the interests of rail users by monitoring compliance on a range of issues and will use our enforcement powers to take action when necessary.

Network Rail

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We hold Network Rail to account for delivering its obligations to provide a safe, high-performing, and efficient railway. We do this through our range of regulatory powers under safety legislation, by enforcing compliance with its licences and by conducting five-yearly reviews that set its funding and what it must achieve within the relevant control period.

New interventions:

Past interventions:

Health and safety

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ORR has a range of formal enforcement powers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

You can find details of  improvement notices and prohibition notices served by inspectors, and details of enforcement action taken by us to date.

Train operators' licence conditions

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Operators of railway assets (trains, networks, stations and depots) must comply with a range of conditions in their licences and the Statement of National Regulatory Provisions (SNRPs). Our economic enforcement policy and penalties statement explains our policy for enforcing all licences and the actions available to us.

Past investigations


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We have a duty to keep the provision of railway services under review and to take appropriate measures where markets are not working to the benefit of users or funders. We have enforcement powers under the Competition Act 1998. We also have powers under the Enterprise Act to carry out market studies.

Rail timetables 2018

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Inquiry into May 2018 network disruption

In May 2018 a new timetable was introduced for large parts of Britain’s railway network, which caused major disruption to services for passengers especially in the North of England and in the South East.

At the request of the Government, ORR established an Inquiry into the factors that contributed to the failure to produce and implement a satisfactory operational timetable in May 2018. Our final report was published on 7 December 2018.

Rail timetable issues 2018

In February 2018, Network Rail announced that it was not able to produce finalised timetables 12 weeks in advance (this process is known as T-12). It announced plans to finalise timetables six weeks in advance and a plan to get the timetabling schedule back to normal. These issues left passengers unable to access journey information in the usual timescales during 2018 and part of 2019 (typically journey information is available 12 weeks in advance).