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Key train requirements updates

​The Key Train Requirements (KTR) document helps rolling stock procurers, manufacturers and system suppliers to take into account research and good practice in train design which aren't already covered in standards.

It captures experience that has emerged from historic rolling stock projects and highlights new developments that you may need to consider if you are designing trains for operation in Great Britain.

By capturing key train requirements in one place, it makes it easier to specify and supply.  For example, the traditional contractual requirement to comply to all applicable standards, won't cover emerging recommendations from research which have yet to be incorporated into actual standards.

In addition to procurement of new rolling stock, some of these train requirements are equally applicable to vehicle refurbishment or continued service operation (life extension) projects.

The document covers technical requirements as well as performance, environmental, operational and passenger facing aspects and communications and diagnostics.  The latest version, published in August 2016, includes over 80 new or improved entries, a new expanded section on toilets, and a new section on cyber security.

Key Train Requirements has been prepared by the Association of Train Operating Companies (now Rail Delivery Group) External link on behalf of the Vehicle/Vehicle System Interface Committee (V/V SIC) managed by RSSB.  V/V SIC is a cross-industry group of technical experts focussing on issues affecting railway vehicles and the interfaces between them, such as weight, reliability and noise. 

Leading industry figures endorse the Key Train Requirements document:

We have recently issued our 2nd edition of our Rolling Stock Perspective. In being consistent with our guidance, I welcome this updated version of the Key Train Requirements document as providing further detail on our aspirations for train design and passenger facility.

We must all work much harder on improving train design and passenger facility both to wow our customers but also reduce the long term environmental and energy impacts of their operation and ultimately their end-of-life recycling.

I encourage everyone involved in the procurement and supply of new and refurbished trains to read our Rolling Stock Perspective in concert with this Key Train Requirements document.  I look forward to seeing evidence of this in proposals submitted for future rail franchises.

Peter Wilkinson, Managing Director Passenger Services, Department for Transport


RDG is pleased to support the updated version of the Key Train Requirements document. It will provide members with an opportunity to procure trains with reliable equipment by following good practice.

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive, Rail Delivery Group and Association of Train Operating Companies


This updated version of the Key Train Requirements captures good practice when specifying key features for new and refurbished trains. It will help industry better meet passengers' needs and improve efficiency by ensuring that lessons learned in the past are retained and errors not repeated. I would urge all those involved in the train procurement and manufacturing of new and refurbished trains to use this document to add detail to the standards that already exist.

Mark Phillips, Interim Managing Director, RSSB


The Rolling Stock Companies are fully supportive of the Key Technical Requirements (KTR) document.  This captures past experience, highlights areas of active development and recommends best practice to be followed.  This is relevant to new vehicle procurement as well as refurbishments.  Mandatory Standards are often silent on these principles, but these principles are critical to the operational performance of new and modified vehicles.  The KTR will form a very useful reference document for vehicle procurement and modification to ensure that learning points from past issues are not lost.

Mark Hicks, Technical Director, Angel Trains Limited


We found the KTR document a very useful aide-memoire when assisting a client with the preparation of their new-train specification. We look forward to seeing the new expanded version.

A railway consultant

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