About Us

Rail plays an ever more crucial role in Britain. Our aim is to create a railway that delivers real improvements in customer experience, which drives growth in both the number of customers and the number of journeys and allows us to create a simpler and better railway.

Our purpose is to create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain

We will deliver this by working collaboratively across the industry to design the future of customers’ rail experience as well as how the industry operates behind the scenes. We deliver change to existing elements of the railway but also through new activities and campaigns; through our management of services which are delivered to customers and to industry partners; and by joining up the industry’s decision making, bringing together key stakeholders with the right expertise to ensure we make the right decisions for customers and the whole railway.

Our values, known as ASPIRE, are Accountability, Support, Partnership, Inclusive, Respect and Excellence. Our values form an integral part of our recruitment, performance and recognition processes.

Our activities fall into four broad categories of expertise. These are:

  • Retail and commercial functions – retail fulfilment, fares, commercial management of retailer relationships, running fares and retailing services and systems, engaging with transport authorities, operators and suppliers.
  • Customer services – understanding and defining customer needs from both service and marketing perspectives using insight led modelling, marketing research and close engagement with operators and commercial teams, running information and support services and systems, working closely with cross industry stakeholders.
  • Technology and data - Designing and running central industry systems to support the operations of the railway, integrating systems from Network Rail, Retailers and Operators, improving the security of industry systems, integrating and analysing data and delivering large scale programmes from testing to ongoing service management
  • Industry operations – defining policy and understanding of industry stakeholders needs, co-ordinating industry planning, operational decision making and crisis management through engagement with operators, suppliers, network rail and other partners on rail strategy, policy, engineering, policing, people, stations and network performance.

For more information about our public-facing and B2B services (including National Rail Enquiries and railcards), please go to the Our services section.

In this section

Our History

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) was set up after privatisation in 1993, to bring together all train companies to preserve and enhance the benefits for passengers of Britain’s national rail network.

In 2011, one of the recommendations made by the McNulty rail value for money report was that a leadership body be established to take responsibility for coordinating and leading on cross-industry initiatives. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) was established in June 2011 by the major passenger and freight train operator groups and Network Rail to fulfil this role.

In 2013, the structure of RDG was formalised to ensure that it continued to receive the full commitment of key people and organisations from across the railway industry. This was achieved through the incorporation of a new membership condition into the licences of Network Rail and those passenger and freight operators that operate over the mainline network. In October 2016, the single name of Rail Delivery Group was adopted to describe ATOC and RDG.

In 2021, one recommendation of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail was that elements of RDG’s activity should sit within the remit of an arm’s length body. In May 2022, Rail Partners was formed to continue advocacy and policy activities previously undertaken by RDG on behalf of members, in advance of RDG’s transfer to Great British Railways in 2024.


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