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

Delays explained

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

Electrifying the railway

What we do to install and look after overhead equipment for electric trains – and how lineside neighbours are affected

Level crossings

Our approach to eliminating risk at level crossings


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

Bridges, tunnels and viaducts

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


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