Useful documents for passenger and freight train operators
We operate, maintain and improve Britain’s railway infrastructure, placing rail users and passenger train operators at the heart of what we do.
Here you’ll find the key documents to guide you through how we do business with our customers, which include both existing and potential operators of train services. Approaches are welcomed equally from:
- potential new passenger train operators (TOC) applying for open access
- existing holders of track access rights, in relation to new passenger track access contracts or amendment of existing track access contracts
- prospective franchisees in relation to franchise replacement and franchise extension.
We support the Department for Transport (DfT) in clarifying the outputs required of passenger train franchises, collaborating in planning and providing information for developing and evaluating bids and associated contracts. If a potential operator identifies a new market for train services not currently served by a franchise, they can apply to us for open access rights to run those trains.
Our Network Statement provides all current and potential train operators wishing to operate train services on our infrastructure with a single source of relevant information on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.
The Network Code is a set of contractual rules incorporated into each track access agreement between Network Rail and all train operators. It covers those areas where all parties are obliged to work together to the same standards and timescales. This includes such areas as:
- Developing the timetable
- Making changes to the network or to vehicles
- Environmental protection
- Standards of performance monitoring
- Resolving contractual disputes
- Managing operational disruption
Any new operators on the network will also need to sign up to the Network Code.
All passenger and freight train operators (FOC) who want to use to our network require a track access contract. Our customer teams dealing with each train operator lead the contractual negotiations and the sale of access rights with train operators on the contracts.
This code of practice (PDF) sets out the principles and procedures that we follow in identifying and managing congested infrastructure on the network pursuant to The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016.
Castlefield Corridor congested infrastructure report
This report (PDF) fulfills Network Rail's requirement to provide capacity analysis on the Castlefield Corridor, which it declared congested in April 2019.
To encourage third-party investment in the network, we have a suite of template agreements for enhancement projects that have been developed and revised following extensive consultation with industry, customers and stakeholders.
There's more information in our guide Investing in the Network, part of our stakeholder code of practice.
The Engineering Access Statement (EAS) and the Timetable Planning Rules (TPR) are collectively referred to as the Operational Rules.
The EAS describes the rules regulating the arrangements for engineering access to the rail network. It sets out the location, number, dating and duration of possession access (restrictions of use), which we require to deliver inspection, maintenance, renewal and enhance work activities to the infrastructure.
The TPR regulate the standard timings between stations and junctions together with other matters enabling trains to be scheduled into the working timetable for the various parts of the main rail network.
You can download the latest information in the .zip folder below.
Operational Rules (zip folder download – 122 MB)
- Download the zip file
- Extract the files to a folder on your computer
- Open the roprhome.pdf file
Calendar of milestone dates (production schedule)
Schedule of milestones for the production of the following timetables:
December 2019, May 2020, December 2020, May 2021
Strategic capacity statement
For more information, please email Matthew Allen.
- Strategic Capacity Statement – May 2019 Timetable
- Strategic Capacity Statement – December 2018 Timetable (PDF, 1 MB)
- Management of strategic capacity on the network – Network Rail's code of practice (PDF, 437 KB)
Revised Informed Traveller Recovery Plan
For more information, please email Katherine McManus
The current access charges for 2014-2019 (Control Period 5, CP5) apply until 31 March 2019. Price lists are consistent with the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) Final Determination, and are referenced in track and station access contracts.
The current access charges for 2019-2024 (Control Period 6, CP6) apply until 31 March 2024. Price lists are consistent with the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) Final Determination and are referenced in track and station access contracts.
This page contains our publications related to access charges, including responses and conclusions for relevant consultations for PR13. It also includes our responses to Office of Rail and Road's (ORR) PR13 publications.
This page contains our publications related to access charges, including responses and conclusions for relevant consultations for PR18. It also includes our responses to Office of Rail and Road's (ORR) PR18 publications.
In April 2010 some operators moved to metered electricity billing, also known as on-train metering (OTM), which means their charges are no longer based on modelled consumption rates, but instead are based on actual metered usage.