If a railway operator wants to access the railway network, it must apply to us for a track access agreement with Network Rail.
View our infographic on how we make decisions on track access.
This section contains all the links you need to apply for track access, or for a contract for connection to the network, for both passenger and freight. It also includes information on how to apply for options on access and on applicable exemptions.
There are further links to our comprehensive criteria and procedures document and to detailed model contracts for all aspects of access operations, which we strongly recommend applicants follow when applying for any contract.
Applicants should note this guidance on how the 2023 periodic review (PR23) will apply to new access contracts.
Access for passenger operators
Includes the application form for use by passenger operators (including charter and open access operators), our passenger model contracts, our general approvals, and information for new entrants to the market, including potential international operators.
Access for freight operators
Includes the application form for use by freight operators, our freight model contract, our general approvals, and information for new entrants to the market.
Information for those wishing to apply for a connection to Network Rail's network, including our model connection contract and general approval.