What is the KTR document used for?

  • Drawing attention to experiences from historic rolling stock projects.
  • Drawing on railway research projects.
  • Capturing aspects of train design that do not necessarily meet the scope for standards and are not covered by the contractual requirement to ‘comply to all applicable Standards’.
  • Listing industry research recommendations that have not yet been incorporated into Standards.
  • Highlighting new developments that may need to be considered when requirements are specified, and trains are designed to operate in the UK.
  • Including recommendations from Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) reports or National Incident Reports (NIRs), to ensure that safety is enhanced at the earliest opportunity.
  • Drawing attention to the use of Rail Industry Standards (RIS) and European Standards not referenced in National Technical Specification Notices (NTSN) which provide good practice.

What is the background of the KTR document?

In 2009 the Technical Strategy Advisory Group (TSAG) remitted the Vehicle / Vehicle System Interface Committee (V/V SIC) to develop guidance on key technical requirements for new trains. These requirements represent best practice that not adequately covered by Railway Group and Rail Industry Standards. 
The first version of the document was published in January 2011, with a second version in February 2013 and a third version in September 2014. Version 4 was renamed Key Train Requirements and included an expanded coverage of operational aspects with a new Annex on cyber security. It was issued by the successor of TSAG, the Technical Strategy Leadership Group (TSLG).

Following industry feedback, the document received a full review and was reformatted to facilitate easier incorporation into procurement specifications. This resulted in v5 being produced and had an interim update to v5.1. Additionally the requirements were published as Excel® spreadsheets, so they are easier to incorporate into tendering databases.

Version 6 included a section on seat comfort and an annex for catering equipment.

Version 7, published in July 2023 includes sustainable and decarbonisation chapters and improved software and cyber security sections.

Useful documents for Key Train Requirements

Access the current version of the KTR (v7) here

Access KTR (v7) Key requirements here

Access KTR (v7) Appendix C Toilet design requirements here

Access KTR (v7) Appendix F Monitoring infrastructure from the train here