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Opportunities for third parties

We have committed to a series of reforms designed to make it easier for other organisations to invest in and build on the railway.

The reforms were in response to recommendations made by the Hansford Review and are making it easier for third parties to fund, finance or deliver work on the railways.

Artists impression of  Oxford Parkway station
Oxford Parkway station; Funded by Chiltern Railways and Network Rail

As part of Network Rail becoming more Open for Business, we have identified a number of projects which we believe could be good for the railway as well as delivering wider economic benefits; making them suitable for potential third party funding, financing or delivery.

This is a list of potential opportunities for third parties and inclusion does not necessarily represent a commitment to deliver a project.

It is a growing list and we have ambitions to update it regularly. It is not an exhaustive list and we are always open to new and innovative ideas.

Some of the Rail improvement projects on the list are at a very early stage of development and we are inviting interest from third parties to help us explore the viability of the projects and/or the approach. Some are at a more advanced stage and we are open to exploring how we collaborate on their deliverability. 

These opportunities range from new stations to support housing, to developing above rail lines, to digital technologies that help us operate the railway better.

The projects would be progressed on a staged basis; subject to third party funding for that stage, to enable the scope, outcomes, supporting business cases, costs and benefits to be confirmed.

The publication of this list is complemented by the publications by the Department for Transport of guidance for market-led proposals. 

It is also in line with the Department’s publication of the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline – which sets out the UK Government’s approach to railway enhancements in Control Period 6 (2019-2024) and beyond as well as the Scottish Government’s approach to investment in Scotland’s railway; as set out in its Rail Enhancements & Capital Investment Strategy which was published in March 2018.

The below are examples of schemes that we have collaborated with third parties on:

  • Kenilworth station: a major rail investment scheme to boost economic regeneration between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa, providing regular services to Coventry and Leamington Spa and onward connections.  This was funded by a combination of funders, including the county council, and the local enterprise partnership.
  • Felixstowe Loop: the double-tracking of a 1.4 km section of track to remove a bottle neck for freight trains accessing the Port of Felixstowe, part funded by Hutchinson Ports, increasing both freight and passenger capacity and reducing road congestion and pollution.
  • Meridian Water station: a new, step-free station predicted to service 4 million passengers a year, which is due to open in summer of this year and was funded by Enfield Council. It supports a proposed 10,000 new homes and thousands of jobs.
  • Maghull North station: a new step-free station between Liverpool and Ormskirk which opened in June 2018 and was entirely funded by the local growth fund, Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association – enabling new homes and helping capacity.
  • Barking Riverside: a new station and track extension to extend the Gospel Oak to Barking line to a new overground station, which was fully funded by the housing developer and the Transport for London growth fund and enables the building of 10,800 new homes.

Business development directors

We now have business development directors in each of our regions to ensure we have people with the right skills working collaboratively with businesses, local authorities and other public sector bodies to bring in investment into the railway which will in turn enable economic growth and regeneration.

If you would like to find out more about a specific project or explore how we can work together, please speak to your local business development contact:

Eastern Region:
Stephen Hind – Head of business development
07515 620 062

North West and Central Region:
David Golding – Passenger strategy director 

Scotland Region:
Matthew Spence – Director, strategy and investment
07825 766724

Southern Region:
Paul Richmond – Head of business development
07825 766854


Kate Warner – Business development & sponsorship director  
07747 480254 

Wales and Western Region
Richard Selwood – Business development manager 

Guy Bates – Head of Freight Development
07825 376699

For schemes that have a Network Rail wide impact or that require national coordination, please contact:

Harriet Hepburn – Corporate Finance and Business Development Director – Network Rail.
07701 055641


We encourage all third parties to work closely with our Business Development Directors to resolve issues. If you have feedback about a project you are working on you would like to escalate, please contact:

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