Operator licences & exemptions


We issue licences and licence exemptions to railway operators.

Licensing is one of our core statutory functions. If you want to operate a train, station, network or light maintenance depot you will need to be covered by a licence or licence exemption.

Through licensing we promote effective and efficient working relationships between industry parties and safeguarding the public interest.

Licensing the railway

An overview of railway licensing in Great Britain.

Licence obligations

Operators of railway assets must normally comply with conditions in their licences and the Statement of National Regulatory Provisions (SNRPs)

3rd party liability

Operators must comply with our third party liability insurance requirements. Operators’ insurance brokers should send us confirmation that adequate insurance cover is in place, in line with our general approval.

How to apply

How to apply for a licence or licence exemption, costs involved and application forms.

Model licences and model licence exemptions

The current standard versions of licences and licence exemptions in use.

Current licences

Electronic versions of licences which are in force, listed by company.

Licence exemptions

Licence exemptions exempt named operators from the requirement to hold a licence.

Licence casework consultations

Details proposals to grant licences or licence exemptions on which we are consulting.