Track access guidance
This guidance sets out our approach to regulating track access.
We make sure that passenger and freight train operating companies have fair access to the rail network – and that best use is made of capacity.
If a train operator wants to access the national railway network, it will need a track access contract with Network Rail. This page sets out what you need to know. If you have any questions, please contact us.
This guidance does not reflect the likely impact of the recast of the First Railway Package. We will update it later in the year as changes are implemented.
- Introduction , October 2017 PDF, 419 Kb
- The regulation of access , March 2015 PDF, 73 Kb
- The use of capacity, December 2011
- Duration of Framework Agreements , February 2019 PDF, 132 Kb
- The expression of access rights, December 2011
- International passenger services , June 2009 PDF, 345 Kb
- The not primarily abstractive test, December 2011
- The Economic Equilibrium Test , March 2019 PDF, 1,012 Kb
- Investing in the railway: securing access , January 2018 PDF, 118 Kb
- How to apply
- Model track access contracts
- Charging and performance
- Other networks
- ORR's Code of Practice for the application of Sections 16A to I of the Railways Act 1993 , November 2006 PDF, 226 Kb
- Connection contracts October 2016 PDF, 102 Kb
- Facility access agreements (non-Network Rail networks) May 2019 PDF, 303 Kb
- High Speed 1 – see 'access to HS1'
- Network Code appeals , March 2015 PDF, 82 Kb
- The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016, December 2016 PDF, 1,103 Kb
- ORR's Enforcement powers under The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016
- ORR current work and policy documents
Read information about our current work.
- ORR decisions
This section contains links to recent track access and connection contract decisions. This includes new contracts and amendments to current contracts. See track access decisions.
For previous policy decisions and workstreams related to the criteria and procedures, please see the policy and document archive on the National archives website.