Access for passenger operators

The documents contained below provide guidance and the application form for track access by passenger operators whether franchised or Open Access. Industry standard Model Contracts are included as well as details of General Approvals which cover situations where you may enter or amend contracts without needing to apply to us for specific approval. Related documents and links are provided to help with questions that may arise when drafting applications.

For guidance on how to apply for a track access contract for a passenger operator (including charter and open access) please read our Criteria and procedures for the approval of track access contracts pdf icon PDF, 1,495 Kb (C&Ps).

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.

For international passenger operators wishing to apply for access to operate cross-border services, we have produced guidance on the assessment of new international passenger services pdf icon PDF, 345 Kb.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Application form

Applicants should use a Form P application form (for passenger operators, including charter and open access operators) for all applications under sections 17-22A. The form is available below in Word and PDF format:

Model contracts

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

Passenger general approvals

We have powers under sections 18 and 22 of the Act to grant general approvals. The current passenger general approvals are listed below:

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.