Employees completing track and overhead line works

Looking after the railway

We work 24/7 to keep the rail network running

Running the safest railway in Europe is a team effort. The day-to-day operations and maintenance we carry out to keep Britain moving involves dedicated teams across the country, working collaboratively and ensuring we maintain the best possible service for the millions who rely on the railway, every day.


Our operational function delivers the services that ensure safe performance of the railway, including managing the systems and processes that keep the rail network working: from signalling operators in our regional rail operating centres, to our mobile operations managers and incident response teams that help reopen any part of the network that’s blocked, level crossing managers and station customer service teams.

Our operational readiness hub is the national operations centre, and it’s organised around our routes to meet the needs of our customers: passengers, passenger service and freight operators and external commercial stakeholders.


Maintenance is the day-to-day upkeep of the network. Our maintenance employees support our operations and project teams by making sure every part of our infrastructure – such as signals and power supplies, or assets such as track and bridges – is maintained and in good working order.


We’re responsible for:

  • More than 20,000 miles of track across England, Scotland and Wales
  • Almost 6,000 level crossings – with consistently fewer accidents than in countries with a similar number
  • 30,000 bridges and viaducts
  • Around 2,500 stations – including 20 that we run: the biggest and busiest in the country

Planned works

We plan the timetables 12 months in advance and schedule in time for works to improve the network.

Delays explained

How we respond to problems on the network that cause delays – and what we’re doing to help prevent them

Level crossings

Our approach to eliminating risk at level crossings


Our role in looking after 20,000 miles of railway track


How we’re adapting for the future with new signalling technology

Bridges, tunnels and viaducts

What it takes to maintain our structures – and new solutions to our programme of bridge reconstruction

Our fleet

Our machines are invaluable resources enabling us to repair, transport, survey and maintain whenever and wherever needed.

Earthworks: cutting slopes and embankments

We manage a portfolio of over 190,000 earthworks assets including embankments, soil cuttings and rock cuttings.

Asset management

Our asset management policy and how we deliver an infrastructure that supports a safe and efficient timetable.

Asset protection and optimisation

If you’re planning works near the railway, we're your gateway to supporting you in delivering your work safely.