Route compatibility studies

Route compatibility studies

As your Network Certification Body, we can help provide independent route compatibility studies to support your project’s responsibilities under the RIS-8270-RST route compatibility process.

Here are some commonly asked questions about route compatibility.

But what is the route compatibility process?

The route compatibility process aims to demonstrate that changes made to one asset will be technically compatible with another asset, when they are placed into service.

For example: a new train introduced on a given route, or changes made to a station which is used by existing vehicles. It could also include interfaces between neighbouring infrastructure managers’ assets or interfaces between two railway undertakings vehicles.

If your project is making any change, you will be responsible for demonstrating compatibility with other infrastructure managers and / or railway undertakings assets. The process generally involves:

• Identifying applicable compatibility interfaces.

• Assessing evidence of technical compatibility and creating a compatibility file.

• Sharing the compatibility file with the affected parties for their review and


• Producing and signing the statement of compatibility.

We can help your project by completing an independent compatibility assessment and preparing a compatibility report, which can be used to support the affected party review process.

Why should I choose NCB?

We’re proud to be the industry leader in railway assurance, providing independent assessment and certification to 80% of the UK’s railway infrastructure projects. By choosing NCB, your project can benefit from:

  • Access to NCB’s technical experts with the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to correctly identify the interfaces affected by the change and to carry out a robust compatibility assessment.
  • Independent assurance to support your decision to sign the statement of compatibility.
  • Compatibility reports from a well-recognised industry-leading independent assessment body, which can be used to directly facilitate discussions with stakeholders as part of the affected party consultation process.
  • Less risk, by identifying any potential compatibility issues before they become major problems.
  • A uniquely flexible approach to project delivery, enabling assessment activities and reporting to be aligned with your project’s key phasing and milestones.

What will an NCB compatibility study involve?

We’ll clearly establish the full scope of your project and identify key milestones and delivery requirement – including the number and scope of any compatibility reports required. Based on the project scope, our technical experts will then identify compatibility interfaces which are impacted, which will form the basis of our assessment.

Together, we’ll work closely to manage documentation requirements throughout assessment, to ensure the process is as efficient and clearly understood as possible. Upon completion of the review, our teams will prepare an independent compatibility assessment report (or reports) summarising the conclusions from the assessments carried out.

If you would like to know more, please get in touch,