Access for freight customers

This page contains guidance for track access by freight customers. General approvals, model contracts and related documents are also included.

We have developed simple and transparent model track access contracts for freight customers. The model contracts provide freight customers with control over the exercise of their own access rights associated with the movement of their goods.

For information on how to apply for a freight customer access contract please see our track access guidance.

Potential new entrants to the market should familiarise themselves with our Starting Mainline Rail Operations pdf icon PDF, 455 Kb document.

We advise all applicants to use our model contracts, provided below.

Applicants should note this guidance on how the 2018 periodic review (PR18) will apply to new access contracts.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Model contracts

Applicants are advised to begin with the freight customer model contract. Further guidance on this can be found in our C&Ps document above.

We have developed a general approval (removing the need for specific ORR approval) for freight customers.

The Freight Access (Track Access Contracts) General Approval 2012 This document is currently being revised, please contact us

  • Enables Network Rail and freight customers to enter into a freight customer track access contract which may contain certain firm access rights for a limited 2 year period;
  • Network Rail and a freight operator (nominated by a freight customer) to enter into a freight customer specific track access contract for freight operators; and
  • Network Rail to make certain changes to the freight operator's existing track access contract relating to liability necessary where the freight operator has entered into a freight customer-specific track access contract for freight operators.

For previous policy decisions and workstreams, please see the policy and document archive.

For previous access application decisions, please see our decisions library or, for decisions in the last six months, the relevant decisions page.