Press Release

Rail supply community sets out five 'tests' for Great British Railways

7 March 2022

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has set out five 'tests' to ensure the establishment of Great British Railways, the new railway structure, will be a success.

The five tests provide clear criteria for the new railway body to ensure it is best able to harness the value and expertise of the rail supply industry. The tests are:

  1. No hiatus in current work: More than 70% of Network Rail's spend is with the private sector - and there cannot be a pause in this work;
  2. Transparency: Be clear and transparent with rail suppliers, to allow them to deliver;
  3. Partnership: Be an open and accessible client, and partner with the private sector for the best results;
  4. Productivity: Ensure the rail industry is able to thrive - financial sustainability will ensure rail delivers for UK plc; and
  5. Ambition: Leave a positive legacy, including in safety, decarbonisation, exports and the economy.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: "The railway industry is currently undergoing a major restructure which could change the way we work both now and in the future. So, it’s important that we get Great British Railways right, ensuring that we can all continue to deliver for passengers, freight users and the economy.

"The Railway Industry Association’s five tests – informed and developed by RIA members – sets out what rail suppliers need to make the new structure a success. The tests include a need to avoid any hiatus in current work, for the new GBR body to be open and transparent, for suppliers to work more in partnership with clients on rail projects, to ensure the rail industry is sustainable and has the environment to thrive, and finally, for our railways to leave a positive safety, decarbonised, economic and exports-led legacy for the UK.

"As GBR is set up - with the Transition Team already well established and legislation due before Parliament soon - RIA and our members will continue to engage with and support the process. We look forward to working with the Government, the Transition Team, Network Rail, and all partners to ensure we continue to deliver for the UK, supporting a thriving railway alongside generating future investment, jobs and economic growth for the country."

Read the Five Tests here

Notes to Editors


  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

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