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.

Guidance documents


The Economic Equilibrium Test for domestic services no longer applies. Several provisions made by The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 only applied until 31 December 2020. As a result, from 31 December 2020 we have not been able to carry out the Economic Equilibrium Test, or make decisions based on the Economic Equilibrium Test, for domestic services. To see our withdrawn guidance on the Economic Equilibrium Test for domestic services, please contact For the Economic Equilibrium Test on international services please see our separate guidance.

How to apply

Charging and performance


We are reviewing our guidance on model passenger contracts. Should you require assistance completing them in the meantime, please contact us directly at

Model track access contracts

Other networks


ORR's Enforcement powers under The Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016

For previous policy decisions and workstreams related to the criteria and procedures, please see the policy and document archive on the National Archives website.