ORR investigation of Network Rail’s Wales & Western region’s compliance with the network licence


On 29 November 2023 we opened an investigation into Network Rail’s Wales & Western region’s compliance with the Network Licence. This was because despite the delivery of planned improvement activities, the train performance levels experienced by customers continued to be below expectations.

Investigation outcomes

On 29 May 2024 we published the findings of our investigation. We also gave notice that we propose to make an order setting out the actions Network Rail needs to take.

Our final investigation report sets out why we think Network Rail is contravening condition one of its licence.

Our Notice and draft Final Order sets out what we propose to require Network Rail to do to address train performance in the region. This includes setting out improvement plans that will deliver sustainable performance improvements, including further developing its plan for the Thames Valley section of the Western route known as ‘Project Brunel’.

Our draft final order also sets out that we propose to impose a reasonable sum of £3 million on Network Rail if it does not comply with the final order.

Following a three week consultation period, we will make any required changes and publish the final order.


We will consider any representations on the content of the draft final order received by 20 June 2024.  Anyone who wishes to take part in the consultation on our draft final order can do so by contacting patrick.crowley@orr.gov.uk, or by post to:

Patrick Crowley
Office of Rail and Road
25 Cabot Square
E14 4QZ

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