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Rule Book App

Rule Book on an iPad

We are developing a new 'app', enabling rail staff to easily access the Rule Book via smartphones or tablets.

People and companies who rely on the Rule Book will benefit from:

  • Improved usability
  • Better search functionality
  • Responsive design
  • Access to content offline
  • Automatic updates.

The app has been developed for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices.  The Apple version has been trialled successfully with South West Trains, and a live version is being rolled out there.

Why an app?

Some 120,000 rail staff rely on the Rule Book as a critical reference tool. It contains sets of clear instructions which rail staff must follow in certain safety critical scenarios in railway operation, the first cross-industry edition being published in 1876.

Currently, you refer to paper copies of the Rule Book or pdf versions viewed on screen, but today the internet is much easier to access and increasingly, rail staff are equipped with mobile devices to help them do their job.

By creating an ‘app’, working with our supplier Mekon, it will make it easier for you to consult your Rule Book on-the-go, find what you’re looking for, and to be updated on future amendments to content.


We aim to:

  • Enable users to access and search the Rule Book 24/7 on compatible Windows, Android and IOS-run smartphones, tablets and laptops regardless of whether they have access to the internet or not
  • Provide a fit-for-purpose product that provides members with the opportunity to stop providing hard copies of the relevant Rule Book modules or handbooks to their staff
  • Improve the current usability of the Rule Book, with more responsive design, and presented in a way that suits a range of adult learning style
  • Provide more detailed intelligence about how the Rule Book is used, and allow updates and briefing notes to be uploaded and updated centrally.

Our members including Network Rail and train and freight operators are at the heart of this work, and is formally supported by the Traffic Operation and Management​ standards committee​.

If you have any questions about the Digital Rule Book programme, please get in touch.

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