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  • Obtaining freight track access

  • Freightliner freight train passing by an industrial site

    There are various issues which need to be considered by any potential freight train operator before applying for a freight track access contract:

    • Have you acquired a safety certificate from the ORR? This is a prerequisite for obtaining a track access contract.
    • Have you read and understood the Network Code? This is a set of industry guidelines and procedures. By agreeing to a track access contract all train operators subscribe to the Network Code.
    • Do you know what train services you will be operating? Is this new business to rail or is it a transfer from an existing freight operator?
    • What type of equipment will you be operating? Does it have acceptance to operate over the network?
    • Where will you be operating your freight services? Is it over specific routes/areas of the country?
    • Do you need access agreements or connection agreements with other parties to operate your freight trains?
    • Do you know how to calculate the level of track access charges that will apply? Charges are applied according to this track access charges tariff.
    • Are you aware that all freight train operators comply with a standard performance regime and are liable to pay for delays caused to other TOCs? Do you know how this works?
    • Do you need access to property to operate your freight trains? For more information, please see our commercial property portfolio.

    More information

    If you require more information or would like to discuss items on this list in more detail, please contact Craig Tomlin, customer manager (freight) on 07801 907 659,

  • Key facts

    • To run freight trains on our track, operators must negotiate a track access contract with us.
    • A track access contract template is available from the ORR:  
    • Contracts usually last five years.
    • The track access contract is a regulated document and will be subject to industry consultation and ratification by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).