Born out of privatisation, the Rail Delivery Group provides strategic and tactical services for the whole rail industry
In 1993 ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) was set up to bring together all train companies to preserve and enhance the benefits for passengers of Britain’s national rail network.
In 2011, it was joined by the Rail Delivery Group and five years later, the two bodies merged to become one organisation, known as Rail Delivery Group.
RDG brings together all passenger and freight operators with Network Rail and HS2 to provide oversight of all activities delivered by the organisation on behalf of its members. It provides governance in relation to the voice for the railway as a whole and also for passenger and/or freight operators separately where necessary.
Vision in action
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group Photo: Rail Delivery Group
RDG considers Britain’s railway to be one of the safest and most intensively used rail networks in the world. Its vision is of a system operated by a number of organisations with clearly defined roles that work closely together to deliver a successful railway for passengers, freight customers and the public.
Passenger and freight services are provided by train companies which operate over infrastructure provided by Network Rail. These organisations collaboratively deliver the timetable and customer service. Through the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), they also develop strategies and plans to improve the railway.
The strategy element of this comes from the appropriately named Strategic Boards which bridge the gap between the RDG vision for the industry and how that vision is delivered by the industry.
They have been formed to give line of sight, alignment, and joining up of activities for all the groups charted to them. They also provide a point of escalation that can determine between competing priorities and, if needed, can give direction to their charted groups.
The train companies and infrastructure provider are serviced by a large and specialist supply chain who provide everything from new trains to signalling systems and catering services.
Members of RDG and RSG also work with Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB). RSSB supports the industry to help rail companies achieve their objectives – particularly in regard to efficiency and safety. RSSB is independent, works across the whole rail network and facilitates cross industry collaboration.
The RDG membership comprises the passenger train operators and their owning groups, freight operators and Network Rail.