Rail enforcement powers

Details of our enforcement powers as an independent regulator.

Health and safety enforcement powers

As well as giving advice to the industry, we also have a range of formal enforcement powers given to us under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Our health and safety enforcement policy statement is an important document explaining how we will enforce health and safety law.

Health and safety enforcement policy statement

Our powers to enforce licences

Enforcement is one of our key functions. Our economic enforcement policy and penalties statement explains our policy for enforcing all licences. It sets out in detail what powers we have to enforce compliance with the licence and our policies on when (and why) we would do so. It also sets out the remedies available to us if Network Rail and other licence holders are not compliant and how we will decide whether and how to use them.

Economic enforcement policy and penalties statement
Network Rail licence enforcement taken by us to date

Licence obligations

Operators of railway assets (trains, networks, stations and depots) must normally comply with a range of conditions in their licences and the Statement of National Regulatory Provisions (SNRPs).

Enforcement powers related to HS1

We discharge our function under regulation 13 of The Railways Infrastructure (Access and Management) Regulations 2005 through monitoring and enforcing High Speed 1 (HS1) Limited's compliance with the obligations relating to asset stewardship, reporting and minimal operational standards set out in the concession agreement.

Our regulatory statement sets out in more detail what we expect HS1 Limited to do to comply with its obligations.

HS1 regulatory statement

Enforcement powers related to The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016

The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations (the A&M Regulations) confer a power on ORR to impose a penalty on a relevant operator if it breaches an ORR decision, direction or notice made under those Regulations.

Our economic enforcement policy and penalties statement explains our policy for enforcing compliance with decisions, directions and notices made under the A&M Regulations.

ORR's economic enforcement policy and penalties statement

Protecting consumers

We have powers under consumer law with regard to the railways. Consumer law aims to ensure that businesses are fair and open in their dealings with consumers.

Our powers cover rail passengers and the companies they deal with. ORR is a designated enforcer under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002. Our powers enable us to stop breaches of a range of consumer protection laws where there is evidence of passengers as a group being put at an unfair disadvantage. A key set of rules are the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Competition Act 1998 investigations

We have enforcement powers under the Competition Act 1998. This page contains details of the investigations carried out under the Act.

Current investigations

Freightliner commitments

Infringement decisions

EWS Limited infringement of the Chapter 2 prohibition
17 November 2006

Non-infringement decisions

These are decisions where, following an investigation under our Competition Act powers, we have decided that the conduct complained about does not infringe the Competition Act 1998.