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Sale of access rights

All passenger and freight train operators who want to use to our network require a track access contract

Our customer teams dealing with each train operator (TOC or FOC) lead the contractual negotiations and the sale of access rights with train operators on the contracts.

Our Sale of Access Rights (SoAR) panel provides network-wide governance of the process to negotiate and agree the sale of access to train operators. The principal role of the SoAR panel is to ensure that we apply a consistent approach across the network, as appropriate, and that we’re making the best overall use of capacity at an acceptable level of performance.

The SoAR panel needs to authorise all our sales of access rights before industry consultation takes place and submission of the agreed track access contract to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for its approval. It also needs to approve our response to ORR with regard to any disputed applications. In certain cases derogations apply which remove the requirement for specific authorisation for agreed and disputed sales.

Consultation documents

View consultations on track access contracts and supplementals

Resources for customers

A range of resources are available for customers developing their train operating businesses: see our Information for operators page.  

A full list of the consolidated access agreements we have with our existing customers is available on the ORR’s website.

See our rail freight pages