Investing in the rail industry

This page outlines our investment framework and provides guidance for investing in the railway.

Our policy and guidelines set out the legislation and processes for anyone who wishes to invest in the rail industry.

The Investment Framework was developed to provide a means for infrastructure projects to be approved, specified and delivered in between periodic reviews. It has been used by both government and third parties to invest in the network and contains guidance on the process for investment, the role of respective parties, current financing options, recovery of costs through facility charges (where financing has been provided by Network Rail) and remedies for any issues that arise. It includes template agreements that can be used and refers to both fixed and emerging cost options.

Schemes may be proposed by any organisation wishing to invest in the network and can cover a broad range of potential outputs, from changes in track configuration to new retail opportunities at stations. Network Rail takes the lead in promoting, planning, facilitating and, in most cases, delivering schemes. They should be a first point of contact for an investor. ORR plays a role in monitoring how well the framework is functioning and Network Rail’s discharge of its responsibilities with regards to third-party investment. We also respond to any concerns raised with us by investors.

Some aspects of potential Investment Framework projects may intersect with ORR’s duties, such as granting track access rights. Investors should check with their Network Rail contacts (or with ORR) to see if any proposed works are subject to legal requirements that lie outside the Investment Framework guidelines shown on this webpage.

Increasing the volume and broadening the source of third-party investment in the network is a key issue for control period 6 (CP6) and particularly highlighted in the Secretary of State’s statutory guidance to ORR, issued in July 2017. As part of the 2018 periodic review (PR18), we are reviewing and revising this document to bring it up to date and to ensure it facilitates and encourages third-party investment in support of the UK government’s objective. This process may include an update of the guidelines if appropriate. There is reference to this in our initial PR18 consultation document published in May 2016.