What is it?

A rail system involves systems and people. The engineered systems within (Track, HV Traction, HV Non Traction, rolling stock, signalling and control systems, communications and control) need to be assured as part of a rail system that can demonstrate its safety and operability. Whether as part of a project or change delivered during a duty holder’s operation, safe integration of systems is delivered and assured through rigorous application of safety systems engineering principles and practice.


As a mainline duty holder under ROGS (i.e. a train operating company, passenger or freight, an infrastructure manager, a station operator or infrastructure maintainer) you will have rules and procedures for your people to follow as part of your Safety Management System. The impact of a change on any engineering, operation and maintenance functions within your organisation and others (duty to cooperate) needs to be understood, managed and potentially independently verified in pursuit of a risk profile that is ALARP.


Rolling stock companies, regulators, trade unions and industry bodies all contribute to a a safe and efficient rail system by defining standards, establishing industry strategy through consultation and consensus, setting requirements and targets or undertaking investigation or research.

Why is it important?

In the UK and Europe a mainline duty holder must apply the relevant parts of relevant Common Safety Methods (CSMs) as part of its safety management system.

The UK rail system has established itself as one of the safest in the world through rigorous safety management, adopting a structured approach to preventing and mitigating safety risk. As demand continues to rise, the risk profile increases. It is imperative that all technical, operational and organisational change and innovation are brought about to maintain current system safety levels, or improve them where reasonably practicable.

What do we do?

worker in helmet using equipment

CRA is here to help you create a safer and more cost-effective railway. We do this by providing a range of consultancy services during all phases of the lifecycle. Whether you are an operator, an infrastructure manager, an engineering company or an industry body, CRA can help you get to the next stage in your journey.

Our team of safety consultants has a wealth of experience from providing rail system safety services to clients in the UK and internationally, covering the following capabilities:


  • Rail System RAMS/Engineering Safety Management;
  • Safety Management Systems;
  • Operational Safety Risk Management;
  • Human Factors Integration;
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis;
  • Enterprise Risk Management.

Our work

CRA has considerable experience in the rail system safety domain:

Established the Crossrail Safety Strategy for Energisation and Dynamic Testing;

Delivered Rail Systems Integration function for Crossrail Stage 3, through dynamic testing of Class 345 (with integrated ETCS-CBTC-TPWS/AWS signalling systems) and Engineering Trains on both Crossrail and Network Rail infrastructure;

Development of a number of Safety Justifications for Crossrail as System Integrator, application of the Common Safety Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment (CSM-REA);

Application of CSM-REA – Fitment of remote condition monitoring system to Class 66 locos;

Provision of Lead Expert services: Change Control, Risk Management and Rail Safety Assurance;

ALARP review of Worksite Protection and associated quantitative Cost Benefit Analysis;

Maintenance and development of the GB Safety Risk Model versions 3, 4 and 5 and creation of the associated Risk Profile Bulletins at RSSB;

Creation of a operational safety risk register and profiling tool for Duty Holder (safety risk to workers, passengers and the public in a single register of causes, consequences, controls and control effectiveness for identified hazardous events);

Delivered Risk Based Training Needs Analysis as cornerstone of client’s Competence Management System.

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