This page contains guidance modules and the application form for track access by passenger operators, both public service operators and open access.
Industry standard Model Contracts are included, as well as details of General Approvals which allow applicants to enter into or amend contracts without the need to apply to us for specific approval in a limited set of circumstances. There are also related documents and links to information that may help with any questions you have when drafting applications.
For guidance on how to apply for a track access contract for a passenger operator (including charter and open access) please read our guidance modules on the approval of track access contracts.
Potential new entrants to the market should familiarise themselves with our Starting Mainline Rail Operations document.
We advise all applicants to use our model contracts, provided below.
For international passenger operators wishing to apply for access to operate cross-border services, we have produced guidance on the assessment of new international passenger services.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Application for approval of, or amendments to a passenger track access contract.
Applicants should use a Form P application form (for passenger operators, including charter and open access operators) for all applications under sections 17-22A. The form is available below in OpenDocument Text (ODT) and Word formats:
For any new contract applications, applicants are advised to begin with the passenger model contract. Further guidance on this can be found on our track access guidance page.
- Passenger model contract:
- Charter trains model contract:
- Model clause Relevant Schedule 8 Modifications provision
Passenger general approvals
We have powers under sections 18 and 22 of the Act to grant general approvals. The current passenger general approvals are listed below:
- The Passenger Access (Short Term Timetable and Miscellaneous Changes) General Approval 2023 permits Network Rail and a train operator to make amendments to their track access agreement, subject to certain conditions, without our specific approval. The amendments permitted are described in the general approval. Any amendments beyond those permitted will require our specific approval under section 22 or directions under section 22A of the Act;
- Passenger Access ((Infrastructure Managers Other Than Network Rail) Short Term Timetable and Miscellaneous Changes) General Approval 2023;
- Passenger Access (Model Charter Track Access Contract) General Approval 2009 permits Network Rail and charter train operators to enter into track access contracts based on the charter model contract for the provision of passenger charter services and to make certain specified amendments to such contracts; and
- Supplemental Agreement (Interim Treatment of the 2013 Periodic Review) General Approval 2013 permits Network Rail and a train operator to make amendments to their track access agreement to give effect to ORR's proposed contingency arrangement in the event of a delay to the statutory implementation of PR13.
For previous policy decisions and workstreams, please see the policy and document archive.