At RSSB, all our work is underpinned by the need to support our members in creating an efficient rail system, improving operating performance and customer satisfaction, while reducing the cost of rail to passengers and taxpayers.

Two of our research and development programmes will deliver support across some of the industry’s top priority issues. 

ADHERE programme

Our ADHERE programme, started early in 2018, looks at ways in which we can understand and manage issues with adhesion. This will help the industry deliver better performance and customer satisfaction. We want to mitigate the delays and disruption caused by low adhesion. The ADHERE programme achieves this by tackling five key topics to help mitigate the challenge posed by low adhesion:

PERFORM programme

Launched in April 2018, our PERFORM programme will tackle a range of influencing factors including reducing variability in rail operations, optimising rules and standards, improving management of disruption and getting more value from train performance related data.

Collaborating with industry

We work alongside industry to deliver new findings and implement outputs, reducing rail adhesion issues and the disruption and costs associated with them. Building on the success of the ADHERE programme, and our work with industry to share good practice, we will also investigate what new knowledge and solutions are required to improve rail resilience to weather including how the industry can achieve better seasonal readiness.

Our collaborative work has included a trial of sander configurations and sand laying rates. Our work on Emergency Special Working has led the way to a new set of rules to be used when there are signalling failures. We have also produced guidance documents and videos for drivers, signallers, PICOPs and the competent person.


RISAS enables duty holders and other major customers to rely on common third-party assessments when procuring from suppliers of critical products. This allows for economies of scale by reducing duplication in auditing and assessment.

We are undertaking a full review of the RISAS scheme. We aim not only to use the scheme to its full potential but to increase its scope. We will consult with the industry to ensure that the scheme is developed in line with the changing needs of all stakeholders. We will ensure the quality of audit, inspection and accreditation remains high.

CP6 plan

To find out more about any of the issued discussed, download our full CP6 Strategic Business Plan (below), or the extract that just covers our Efficient Rail activities or watch the video below.