Rail infrastructure

The rail infrastructure in the UK is complex and comprises of a number of different bodies.

Not only do we regulate the mainline railway, we are also the health and safety regulator for a number of other forms of transport that run on rail.

Mainline network

The overall picture of who owns and operates on the UK railway network.

Read more about the mainline network

Underground railways

What an underground system is and how we regulate it.

Read more about underground railways

Light rail and tramways

What light rail and tram systems are and how we regulate them.

Read more about light rail and tramways

Minor and heritage rail

What heritage or minor railways are and how we regulate them.

Read more about minor and heritage rail

Crossing rail infrastructure

The UK Regulators' Network has developed a set of guiding good practice principles to assist network operators improve services to those building new infrastructure, or otherwise working near, their existing assets. This forms part of a wider set of recommendations from the UKRN to reduce the difficulty and cost to clients of dealing with incumbent networks.

We endorse these principles and encourage regulated networks to account for these in their practices and approach to managing asset protection, crossing agreements and other aspects of infrastructure interactions.

View full details of UKRN's recommendations.

Good practice principles for managing infrastructure interactions

Principle 1: The role of infrastructure network operators

Infrastructure network operators recognise: the stewardship role they play in developing, owning and operating our national infrastructure; and that effective planning and delivery of new infrastructure, across all sectors, benefits everyone.

Principle 2: Efficiency, economy and safety

Without prejudicing the needs of customers or funders, or its statutory duties including safety, network operators of in situ assets should act with efficiency and economy when interacting with clients.

Principle 3: Transparent processes and practice

Network operators should establish and follow a process to manage interactions that is transparent, easy to follow, appropriately resourced and commits to explicit service standards appropriate to the clients and projects concerned, supported by provision of accurate information about the operators' network, safety or process as necessary.

Principle 4: Clear, transparent and appropriate pricing

Any fees or charges to clients should be clearly explained, reflect reasonable and appropriate cost and risk, without exploiting unfair commercial advantage, and where reasonable facilitate efficient planning and delivery of infrastructure projects.

Principle 5: Continuous learning and best practice

The lessons and experiences of best practice in managing interactions within the firm, based on measurable performance where possible, and outside are pro-actively gathered and applied, with a commitment to training and support of staff managing interactions.