Applying for station or depot access.
Applications for our approval must be made under section 18 of the Railways Act 1993 (new access agreements) or section 22 (amendments to access agreements). Depending on their nature, some amendments may be automatically approved under a general approval.
When parties cannot agree the terms of a new agreement or amendments to an existing one, the party seeking access can ask us to direct an agreement under sections 17 or 22A of the Railways Act 1993, respectively.
We have published criteria and procedures for the approval of:
These documents are intended to be a comprehensive reference guide for use by any party intending to make a submission to us for consideration of regulatory approval.
To discuss any aspect of making an application to us, please contact us.
All applications for our approval should be submitted electronically to StationsandDepots@orr.gov.uk.
Sections 18(1)(c) and 22(3) of the Railways Act 1993 enables ORR to give its prior approval for new access agreements and to the amendment of existing agreements.
We anticipate that the majority of applications to us could be submitted in accordance with a general approval, provided that certain preconditions are met.
Submissions made in accordance with a general approval typically undergo less scrutiny than submissions made for consideration of our specific approval. The use of general approvals is also consistent with our agenda of handing responsibility to the railway industry, in addition to allowing us to focus on areas where it can provide greater value, including policy development.
Further information can be found on our general approvals page.
Where an application cannot be made under a general approval, it may still be submitted to us to consider granting our specific approval.
Specific approval should be sought for amendments to agreements which do not fall under a general approval, or for new agreements which deviate from the permitted departures outlined in the guidance notes to our general approvals.
Applications under Section 17 and 22A
When the parties cannot agree the terms of a new agreement or amendments to an existing one, the party seeking access can ask us to direct an agreement under sections 17 or 22A of the Railways Act 1993, respectively using the relevant form below.
- Making an application for station access – section 17/22A
- Making an application for depot access – section 17/22A
Station and depot change proposals
The Stations and Depots team will not typically comment on proposals for change if submitted to us, and will await formal submission for our approval of any subsequent amendments to the access documentation.
However, ORR is listed as a consultee for certain proposals for change. These proposals for change, and any safety related queries about a proposal for change, should be sent directly to the relevant ORR Safety Inspector.