Our role is to help the rail industry continually improve its health and safety performance; to reduce risk to rail employees, rail passengers and the public at large.

The work we completed to develop the national technical rules for electrification is a good example. As a result of historic allocations of standards, there were no suitable railway group standards or national technical rules for AC and DC electrification or electric trains. Essentially, we were missing a key element in the suite of standards necessary to inform the national technical rules which enable our members to apply the TSIs in a UK context. They also support compliance with UK law, particularly the Electricity at Work Regulations.

Through our Energy and Rolling Stock standards committees, our Energy Team worked closely with the representatives from the infrastructure manager and rolling stock community to develop the necessary standards for electrification and electric rolling stock. This wasn’t an easy task. Much of our work focused on managing the tensions between retaining historic practice and preparing standards that would meet the legal requirements. We also had to ensure that all parties could achieve legal compliance. Having ensured suitable representation from each interested party, we used expertise from across the industry to enable collaborative discussion and build consensus.

The result was the publication of a new suite of standards covering both the AC and the DC electrified railway. We also developed guidance notes to complement each of the standards. These standards are now used across industry, supporting compliance with the interoperability regulations and UK national law.

We continue to represent the UK railway industry at the European Railway Agency in developing the TSIs and at CENELEC in developing the European electrical standards. We are working with our members to ensure we get the best technical standards that we can and use our expertise to influence the European standardisation process, transferring the rigour and collaborative practices that we apply to our European counterparts.

Watch our training video ‘RED 55 – Electrification’ for operational safety information on this topic.