Planning Oversight Group

Chair: Rupert Walker (Network Rail)
RDG Lead: Samantha Collins

Planning Oversight Group (POG) contributes to the long-term, continuous planning narrative between industry and governments, devolved authorities, funders, and specifiers by providing input to the industry's long-term plan and planning options to meet the needs of our customers.


The purpose of Planning Oversight Group (POG) is to:

  • Provide a balanced industry view on strategic long-term planning. It facilitates the industry input to the Whole Industry Strategic Plan (WISP) through a Task and Finish Group (a subgroup consisting of a number of POG Members).
  • Support the System Operator’s Strategic Planning framework by facilitating discussion of network-wide and regional strategic planning issues.
  • Share industry best practice and developments on issues relating to long-term planning e.g. technology, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
  • Update on long-term strategic progress from Funders and Specifiers.
  • Identify any blockers and impediments to working collaboratively and suggest possible solutions.

POG is the leading group in the industry long-term planning process over other RDG groups concerned with long-term planning. In case of conflict of opinions between RDG groups, RDG’s Planning & Production Board will mediate.


  • Mandate: holds a mandate from POG members’ organisations to provide industry input to ensure that long-term planning meets our customers’ needs. These are passenger service operator owning groups, freight operators, Network Rail System Operator, the rail supply chain, RSSB and RDG.
  • Long-term planning options: The industry, through POG, will provide input to an industry long-term plan and planning options to meet the needs of its customers, including around the future size and shape of the rail network, and put this view forward to funders, governments and devolved authorities. Long-term is defined as 30 years plus.
  • Through its evidenced-based and objective long-term plan and associated options, POG will give a balanced view of the related benefits and drawbacks to funders, government and devolved authorities.
  • Influencing decision makers: POG will work to influence other long-term planning bodies, such as the National Infrastructure Commission.


The outcomes expected to be achieved through this group are:

  • Coordinated industry input to the WISP to inform and influence funders and specifiers;
  • Effective oversight of the Long-Term Planning Process work at Network Rail, providing constructive challenge on behalf of the industry;
  • Decision makers are informed regarding strategic planning issues and developments, for example on the Integrated Rail Plan and HS2;
  • Guidance provided to subgroups to help ensure consistency between medium-term objectives and the longer-term vision for the industry.

Sub-groups charted to Planning Oversight Group

  • WISP Task and Finish Group
  • Rolling Stock, Depots and Stabling Strategy Group (RSDSSG) – responsible for input to the Whole-Industry Strategic Plan (WISP) regarding the strategy needed on rolling stock, depots and stabling facilities in order to support decarbonisation and other WISP objectives.
  • Electric Current for Traction Scheme Council – responsible for purchasing electricity on behalf of the industry, which it does in advance to stabilise prices, and for developing a strategy for procuring renewable energy.
  • Technical Leadership Group – responsible for sponsoring the Rail Technical Strategy (RTS), originally published in 2012 and re-launched as a website in 2020.
    • Future Command Control & Signalling Guiding Body
    • TLG Covid-19 Taskforce

Read the RDG-led response to the call for evidence on the Whole Industry Strategic Plan 


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