RDSO is the sole R&D organisation of Indian Railways and functions as the technical advisor to Railway Board Zonal Railways and Production Units and performs the following important functions :
- Development of new and improved designs.
- Development,adoption, absorption of new technology for use on Indian Railways.
- Development of standards for materials and products specially needed by Indian Railways.
- Technical investigation, statutory clearances, testing and providing consultancy services.
- Inspection of critical and safety items of rolling stock,locomotives,signalling & telecommunication equipment and track components.
- RDSO multifarious activities have also attracted attention of railway and non-railway organisations in India and abroad.