An overview of what we do in relation to rail is available by reading 'An introduction to rail'.


DfT's Rail Group was set up in summer 2005 following the Railways Act 2005 which gained Royal Assent on 7 April 2005. The Group combines the Department's overarching strategic and financial responsibilities for the railways with many of the functions formerly carried out by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA).

The White Paper 'Delivering a Sustainable Railway', published on 24 July 2007, fulfils the remit the Government set itself in 2005 to provide strategic direction for the rail industry. 

Here you will also be able to find documents previously published on the SRA website, incorporated into the appropriate sections below.

About the DfT Rail Group

Responsibilities and contact details for the new DfT Rail Group.

Projects and infrastructure

Information on current projects such as High Speed Two, Crossrail, Intercity Express Programme (IEP), West Coast route modernisation and the Thameslink box, with links to organisations involved.

Passenger services

This section includes specification, consultation and performance information on each franchise and includes information on stations, rolling stock and fares.

Legislation and Parliament

This section contains legislation, statutory guidance, contingent liabilities of the Strategic Rail Authority and Network Rail and Parliament.

Research and technical

Research and technical documentation.


This section covers rail safety in terms of engineering, system and operational safety. Personal security issues are covered separately in the 'Crime and public transport' section.

Interoperability and Standards

Interoperability is a European initiative aimed at improving the competitive position of, and promoting the single market in, the rail sector so that it can compete effectively with other transport modes, and in particular with road transport.

Strategy and finance

This section includes information on community rail, high level output statements and other strategies including cycling.

SRA archive

Documents previously published on the Strategic Rail Authority website.

An introduction to rail

The Government's role in the running of the railways is to provide strategic direction and to procure rail services and projects that only it can specify.

24 January 2007

Email contacts

Email contacts for rail enquiries.

13 January 2006
Last update:
23 March 2009

For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.