The new Rail Technical Strategy is now live

The refreshed Rail Technical Strategy (RTS) focuses on five key priorities. These are vital to the railway’s long-term success, and they rely on new technical solutions. The RTS sets out a route map for each priority, that combines the long-term vision with the steps and achievements needed in the short term.

The new RTS has been developed by RSSB, Network Rail, and UKRRIN academic and industrial partners, with input from many cross-industry groups and individuals, steered by the Technology Leadership Group. 

This RTS is live and digital. We’ll continue to lead, facilitate and support cross-industry initiatives to make it richer, by adding more case studies and updates on progress.  And we will ensure it both reflects our changing world, and supports long-term industry plans and strategies.

As with all strategies, the key challenge is to make progress towards delivery. To achieve the short- and longer-term goals set out on the strategy, the whole industry and supply chain will need to continue to work together and challenge itself on the pace of progress.

Get involved

Go online

Visit the interactive website at to explore the new RTS and let us know what you are working on.

Come to a webinar

Come along to one or more of our series of webinars to discuss each of the RTS priorities in depth.

Tell us what you think

We want to hear from you – email

Horizon scanning to track future changes in rail innovations 

As an industry, we need to prioritise the adoption of the technologies that offer the greatest promise. And we need to be as prepared as possible to respond to emerging trends. At RSSB we use horizon scanning to:

  • inform our cross-industry research programme
  • help rail decision and policy makers prepare for the future. 

We systematically analyse the opportunities and threats that the industry faces, and monitor a wide range of information sources and indicators to identify patterns and ‘weak signals’ (early indicators).

We focus on emerging technologies that have unrealised potential. We aim to identify where rail can leverage advances that have already been made in other industries.    

To read our futures analyses on Blockchain, AI, digital twins, and much more, go to our Over the Horizon Blog Series page.

To arm the industry with the knowledge it needs to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, the horizon scanning team produces regular reports on biosafety.

We map emerging technologies to the capabilities needed to deliver the future railway, and estimate their suitability and readiness for deployment in a rail context using Rail Industry Readiness Levels—see below.