Traffic Operation and Management Strategy

The Traffic Operation and Management Standards Committee (TOM SC) oversees standards and rules that consider the interfaces between the structural subsystems of the railways and the people that interact with them.

The TOM SC strategy, which is in line with the Rail Standards Strategy, explains the committee’s focus for the next five years.

View the full strategy or details of the strategy’s 12 focus areas below.

Focus Areas

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Learning from Experience

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Train Operations

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Electrical Safety

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System Architecture


Infrastructure Maintenance

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Design and Human Factors

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Public Safety

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Safety Critical Communication

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How TOM SC and the Rail Standards Strategy support rail

  • Gathering industry intelligence

    Better engagement with users, retaining influence globally and more strategic focus.

    Because a complete picture of the rail industry needs, challenges and opportunities will help ensure standards work is useful.

    TOM SC’s programme of work for the next five years supports the delivery of industry strategies and priorities such as Leading Health and Safety on Britain's Railway and the Rail Technical Strategy. The committee’s work is supported by engagement and collaboration with subject-matter expert groups and committees across the sector.

    In addition, the committee maintains global influence through the Operations and Traffic Management Technical Specification for Interoperability Mirror Group (OPE TSI MG).

  • Delivering standards

    Whole-system perspective, better standards application context, faster access to knowledge, and more engaging content.

    Because the way people work is changing with technology, and as a result, standards users need information which is accessible and simpler.

    During the next few years, standards led by the committee will be developed with a proportionate view of a whole-system approach, with the aim of having a clear understanding of how elements and subsystems are related and influence one another.

    Standards are also drafted in a consistent style, using plain language and each requirement is supported by a rationale. Therefore, in the years to come, the content of standards will be more engaging, easier to understand and thus adopted by its users.

    The committee will also support faster access to knowledge and good practice by making use of point releases, amendments and clarifications, as necessary.

  • Supporting implementation

    Reaching, engaging and supporting industry, direct implementation support, and more help and guidance on deviations.

    Because standards that are useful, relevant and that can be implemented with confidence add a huge value to the industry.

    Giving adequate support to the end-users of standards by finding effective and innovative ways to communicate standard changes. Work is already underway with:
    • The implementation of the recommendations of RSSB research report T1212 (2021), which looked at understanding the barriers and enablers to applying rules and standards changes.
    • The provision of briefing materials after the publication of standards, which may include webinars, podcasts or supporting materials on the RSSB website.
    • Support to end-users with the deviation process and encouragement to visit the committee when deviating from Rail Industry Standards.
  • Setting a robust governance

    Better linkages with the new regulatory framework, better representation, better analytical support and process efficiency.

    Because a robust governance framework supports a transparent, fair and evidence-based management of standards.

    The committee will continue to support and prioritise standard changes so our portfolio of work is aligned with the regulatory framework of standards. Through this strategy, the committee will look ahead at the scope and coverage of rail operation standards to support changes to the industry structure, the legal environment and technological development, and to facilitate the adoption of sustainability and health and wellbeing measures.
  • Developing competence

    Better support to drafters, to those who take decisions and to users.

    Because industry standards are drafted by experts, established by consensus and adopted by the industry.

    The committee is supporting mechanisms to attract a more diverse range of people to its membership. For the last two years, the committee has strengthened the analytical assessment of standards change, so potential benefits and costs are evidenced-based, supporting decision making.
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