The National Operations Publications comprise:
The Rule Book
The Rule Book is a vital safety document. It comprises a set of modules and handbooks which contain direct instructions for railway staff. It sets out the operational rules for application on the GB mainline railway, which are necessary to enable the safe and timely delivery of people and goods to their destination and to provide the framework to enable safe engineering operations.
You can see which modules and handbooks are
relevant to specific roles on the railway in the
Rule Book module matrix. This matrix lists the Rule Book modules, handbooks and information handbooks that should be issued to a person who is competent to carry out the duties of the job title or role shown in the list.
Modules, handbooks and information handbooks
A Rule Book
module contains a set of instructions for front line operating personnel such as drivers, signallers and shunters which would apply across the main line network and manage safety across the interface between train operators and the infrastructure manager.
A Rule Book
handbook contains a set of instructions that are carried out by other personnel holding a particular competency in relation to staff protection, engineering activity or operation of equipment.
information handbook does not contain rules to directly manage safety of operations, but instead contains background information on the topic covered, including instructions on the general operation of any equipment dealt with. Associated with the Rule Book are a number of Information Handbooks on:
Rule Book forms
Examples of the various
operational forms which are used in relation to the Rule Book are listed in the current Rule Book Modules.
The operational concept for the GB main line railway
The scope of the Rule Book is aligned with the Fundamental Operating Principles as laid out in
RSSB-GBMR-OC Operational Concept for the GB Mainline Railway . The purpose of this document is to provide a link between nine fundamental operating principles and the rules and instructions in the Rule Book and Working Manual for Rail Staff. It indicates whether rules and instructions are defined for traffic operation and management on the main line railway, and the warning and protection arrangements for people required to work on or near the line. It therefore provides a means of deciding whether a proposed method of operation would require a change to those rules and instructions, or whether the change is to internal company instructions or competence management systems.
Changes to the Rule Book
The Rule Book is managed by industry; RSSB facilitates its maintenance, design, and publication. Changes to the Rule Book are set out in the Periodical Operating Notice (PON), published every 3 months by Network Rail, which is available to train operators.
Any proposed changes to the Rule Book, which are going to industry consultation are listed under
Forthcoming consultations. The
Consultation and Stakeholder Register lists documents currently open for consultation.
Copies of the Rule Book
Copies of the Rule Book modules, Handbooks and Information Handbooks can be downloaded in PDF from the Standards catalogue.
If you need hard copies of National Operational Publications, including the Rule Book, you can order them directly from the printers - Willsons
Did you know?
You can now download digital Rule Book manuals designed for smartphones and tablets, which compile relevant parts of the Rule Book into one handy digital document? For further information, see the
digital Rule Book page.