Rail Operations Group (ROG) specialises in ad-hoc movement of rolling stock for rolling stock operating companies and train operating companies as well as locomotive spot hire services and the operation of charter trains. Founded by Karl Watts, it commenced operating in November 2015

After being granted an operating licence by the Office of Rail & Road (ORR) in March 2015, Rail Operations Group commenced operating rolling stock movements with a Class 37 leased from Europhoenix in November 2015. A second Class 37 from the same source followed the following year in July.

That same month ROG was granted a charter operator licence by the ORR. In August 2016, ROG commenced a five-year contract to move rolling stock for Angel Trains.

In 2017, ROG began to move second generation multiple units without having to use a barrier vehicle courtesy by fitting some of its locomotives with Dellner couplers to haul multiple units built after 2001 and using a tightlock coupling device developed by UKRL.

In August of that year, ROG operated its first scheduled passenger services when it operated services from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street under contract to Chiltern Railways.

ROG has also leased Class 50 locomotives for snow clearing and to assist other train operating companies in route learning for diversions.

In total, ROG’s train operations include new build deliveries, testing and fault-free running.

Fleet maintenance, modification or refurbishment programmes

• Fleet cascade or transfer programmes

• Vehicle/fleet testing (e.g., ETCS fitment)

• Infrastructure-train interface testing

• Redundant/off-lease stock for storage

• Passenger (ECS), ad-hoc freight or engineering rolling stock movements

• Traction and rolling stock movements for private owners / operators.


The fleet includes dedicated locomotives which have been modified with electrical brake translation equipment and a range of coupler types to enable direct coupling to, and through automatic brake control of, most UK EMU types. This negates the need to use historic barrier and translator type vehicles.


ROG was appointed test operator for Abellio East Anglia’s new, Stadler built, class 745 EMU and 755 BMU train fleets. ROG is also test operator for Bombardier’s Class 710 Test Programme.

The first Bombardier class 710 EMUs to operate on the mainline underwent testing on the West Coast Main Line at the start of October 2018. ROG is responsible for delivering the Transport for London train fleet of 45 trains from the manufacturer’s plant in Derby to the fleets’ new home at Willesden Traction Maintenance Depot.

ROG is also test operator for the new class 769 ‘Flex’ hybrid multiple units. Testing commenced in early November 2018 on the West Coast Main Line. ROG will also be delivering the new units to various locations around the UK.


Managing Director: David Burley
Chief Executive Officer: Karl Watts
Production Director: Paul Orchard

Rail Operations Group logo

Address: First Floor, Wyvern House, Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU
Phone: 01332 343295
Email: info@railopsgroup.co.uk
Website: www.railopsgroup.co.uk