Choose a letter below:
Association of Community Rail Partnerships
ACSAccess charge supplement
Access dispute resolution rules: Rules which govern the handling of rail disputes arising from matters covered by the Network Code.
AlliancesThe term 'alliances' is currently being used to describe a wide range of different relationships from project-based partnerships through to potentially long-term and comprehensive commercial arrangements covering a wide range of activities carried out by Network Rail routes and train operators. The common factor is that Network Rail and a train operator reach agreement to work together more closely and share the benefits of doing so, within the framework of their existing individual accountabilities and responsibilities. As currently being discussed, alliances do not involve the creation of new legal entities such as formal joint ventures.
Network Rail is required, as a railway licence holder, to develop and apply the policies and criteria it will apply in respect of the maintenance, renewal, replacement, improvement, enhancement and development of the relevant railway assets, and make appropriate information about those policies and criteria readily accessible to persons providing services relating to railways and funders.
The company is also required to maintain appropriate, accurate and readily accessible information about the relevant assets, including their condition, capability and capacity.
Effective asset management supports the delivery of this promise by planning, delivering and making available an infrastructure that supports the current and future timetable safely, efficiently and sustainably.
Railway assets include: tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations.
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is an incorporated association owned by its members. It was set up by the train operating companies, formed during privatisation of the railways under the Railways Act 1993.
As well as being the official voice of the passenger rail industry, it also provides its members with a range of services that enable them to comply with conditions laid on them in their franchise agreements and operating licences. These include the National Rail Enquiry Service (NRES) and Railcard marketing.
ATOC's principal activities include assisting members to co-operate on developing and managing projects that benefit passengers and to promote the advantages of the rail network.
ATPAutomatic train protection.
AWSAutomatic warning system
Axle counter caused-delaysAn axle counter is a track mounted device that accurately counts passing axles. When these devices fail, it has the impact of causing delays to trains.
BRBritish Rail: the state corporation established under the Transport Act 1962 responsible for the operation, upkeep and stewardship of the national rail network infrastructure and freight and passenger train services until the railway was privatised between 1994 and 1997.
Bridge strikeAn incident where a railway bridge has been struck by a road vehicle.
Broken railA rail which has a fracture through the full cross section or a substantial piece broken out of the railhead.
BTPBritish Transport Police: a police service for rail operators, their staff and passengers in England, Wales and Scotland.
Capital expenditure: it refers to the funds used by Network Rail to acquire or upgrade physical assets on the railway and related infrastructure in order to maintain or increase the scope of their operations. Such expenditure is referred to as Renewals (of existing infrastructure e.g. works that will provide long term benefits such as replacing a section of track) or Enhancements (upgrading existing or building new infrastructure, e.g. electrification of a railway line).
Cancellations and Significant Lateness (CaSL): the proportion of trains which arrive at final destination greater than 30 minutes from planned arrival, or full/part cancelled or missed calls.
Cost benefit analysis.
The CC conducts in-depth inquiries into mergers, markets and the regulation of the major regulated industries, undertaken in response to a reference made to it by another authority.
Change of aspect - NFF
An unintended change of aspect (red, yellow, green) by the signalling system, which when tested, could not be found to be faulty. (No Fault Found.)
(Signalling systems are designed to ‘fail safe’ with any change always being to a more restrictive aspect, e.g. yellow to red.)
Class representative committee
The committee charged with considering and approving changes to the Network Code under part C of the Network Code.
CMEOThe Railways (Class and miscellaneous exemptions) Order 1994 exempts, among other things, certain named railway assets and categories of railway assets from the licensing provisions of the Railways Act 1993 (as amended).
A control period is the period to which an access charges review (e.g. a periodic review) applies. Control periods are typically five years in length, but maybe shorter or longer depending on what the regulator decides as part of the review.
CP5 covers from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019
CP4 covers from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2014
CP3: 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2009
CP2: 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2004
CP1: from the privatisation of Railtrack to 31 March 2001
Places an obligation on Network Rail to provide only a certain number of train paths through the cordon (route), even if the TOC has rights that would exceed this limit.
A cordon cap is implemented when the total number of access rights to a path, if used, would exceed the remaining capacity of the network.
COTCondition of track, usually in the context of requiring a speed restriction.
Crown Prosecution Service
Delay Attribution Board : Body that manages and oversees the effectiveness and accuracy of the delay attribution process and the use of the Delay Attribution Guide (see below). Also considers proposed amendments to Delay Attribution Guide and provides guidance to rail industry parties to assist in the resolution of disagreements concerning delay attribution.
Delay attribution guide : Document that provides guidance on the attribution of delay, between parties, across the network.
Deemed minutesA pre-determined value in delay-minutes given to the cancellation of a train.
Defective railA rail which has any fault requiring repair or replacement within a timescale commensurate with the nature of the defect.
Delay minutesIncidents which cause delays to trains produce delay minutes. Network Rail delay minutes represent the total number of minutes delay to passenger and freight trains, where the cause of delay is attributed to Network Rail.
DerailmentWhen a train’s wheelset runs off or leaves the track.
Disaggregated detailIn November 2011 Network Rail completed devolution of power for running the railways to its ten operating routes. In order to ensure transparency, Network Rail produce and publish detailed financial and operational performance information for each of the routes.
East Coast Main Line
EEA StateA state within the European Economic Area, i.e. the European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
Enhancement schemesSchemes to change to network outputs, usually involving construction, that improves network capacity or capability (e.g. enabling higher speeds, allowing heavier loads) relative to the level of network outputs funded at the last relevant periodic review. Usually outputs are required at specific times (in contrast to most renewals).
European rail traffic management system.
Failure to use
A provision of part J of the Network code which deals with a TOC’s failure to use Quantum firm rights (see below). A failure to use occurs if a TOC fails to secure one or more Train slots in respect of its Quantum firm rights or a TOC fails to use a train slot included in the working timetable (see below) and which relates to a Quantum firm right.
Failure to use notices
A notice issued by ORR if it considers that there is a Failure to use by a TOC. The notice details certain rights which the TOC is required to surrender in relation to its Failure to use.
FOC on (T-F)OCWhere a delayed freight train service delays another passenger train or freight train operator.
FOC on FOC/TOC delayDelay caused by a train operated by a freight operator to a train operated by another freight operator/passenger train operator.
FOCsFreight train operating companies.
Freight measureIncidents which cause delays to trains produce delay minutes. Network Rail delay minutes represent the total number of minutes delay to passenger and freight trains, where the cause of delay is attributed to Network Rail.
The ORR is keen to publish a freight measure for the period 1 April 2014 - 31 March 2019 (CP5) that is targeted at the issues which concern freight customers the most.
Freight recovery boardThe freight recovery board was set up in line with our enforcement order in January 2012, with the purpose of promoting improvements to freight service performance (reducing delays to freight services) and protecting the interests of freight customers. The remit of the freight recovery board was to agree reasonably practicable steps Network Rail should take to remedy the licence breach of condition 1 of their licence (network management) and review the delivery of those steps within the timescales set out in the order. ORR confirmed in October 2012 that Network Rail has met the terms of the January 2012 freight performance order.
GSM-RGlobal system for mobile communications - railway. An international wireless communications standard for railway communication.
HLOSHigh level output specification:- A key feature of an access charges review. Under Schedule 4 of the 2005 Railways Act, the Secretary of State for Transport (for England and Wales) and Scottish Ministers (for Scotland) are obliged to send to ORR a high level output specification (HLOS) and a statement of funds available (SoFA), to ensure the railway industry has clear and timely information about the strategic outputs that Governments want the railway to deliver for the public funds they are prepared to make available. ORR must then determine the outputs that Network Rail must deliver to achieve the HLOS, the cost of delivering them in the most efficient way, and the implications for the charges payable by train operators to Network Rail for using the railway network.
Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974.
Independent reporter reviewsThe role of the independent reporter is to provide ORR with independent, professional opinions and advice relating to Network Rail's (as the railway licence holder) provision or contemplated provision of railway services, with a view to ORR relying on those opinions or advice in the discharge by ORR of its functions.
Infrastructure incidentAn event involving Network Rail owned infrastructure which may delay normal train operation.
InvestmentsInvestments cover all enhancements but also include major projects such as route upgrades or renewals.
Institution of Railway Signal Engineers
Joint performance improvement plans (JPIPs) are based on a two-way obligation of Network Rail and the train operating company (TOC) to improve performance.
KPIKey performance indicator.
Level 2 exceedenceA discrete fault in the alignment, level or gauge of the track, which requires corrective action within defined timescales.
Level crossing failureAn incident where a level crossing has developed a fault sufficiently serious for its effective and safe operation to be compromised.
Light maintenance services“Light maintenance services” are defined in section 82(2) of the Railways Act 1993 as services of any of the following descriptions:
(a) the refuelling, or the cleaning of the exterior, of locomotives or other rolling stock;
(b) the carrying out to locomotives or other rolling stock of maintenance work of a kind which is normally carried out at regular intervals of twelve months or less to prepare the locomotives or other rolling stock for service.
Lineside structure defectAn incident where a lineside structure has developed a fault affecting its effective operation or the operation of the railway. Such structures include signal gantries and fences.
LMDLight maintenance depot (for locomotives and rolling stock). This is any land or other property which is normally used for or in connection with the provision of light maintenance services, whether or not it is also used for other purposes.
LocomotiveSection 83(1) of the Railways Act 1993 defines “locomotive” as follows:
“any railway vehicle which has the capacity for self-propulsion (whether or not the power by which it operates is derived from a source external to the vehicle)”.
MAAMoving annual average - the average of the last 13 four-week time periods.
MaintenanceSection 82(5) of the Railways Act 1993 provides that, in that section, “maintenance” includes the detection and rectification of any faults.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
MIPManagement incentive plan
National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health
Network business means:
(i) the business of providing and operating the licence holder’s network, including the maintenance, renewal, replacement, improvement, enhancement and development of the network;
(ii) any ancillary service related to the business and activities in paragraph (i);
and, without limitation, includes:
(a) the purpose of financing the business in paragraph (i) and the services in paragraph (ii); and
(b) any payment or transaction lawfully made or undertaken by the licence holder for a purpose within conditions 4.13(b)(i) to (vii)
Network services“Network services” are defined in sections 82(1), (2) and (3), Railways Act 1993 as:
“any service which consists of, or is comprised in, the provision or operation of a network (or of any of the track or other installations comprised in a network), but does not include:
(a) services for the carriage of passengers by railway;
(b) services for the carriage of goods by railway;
(c) light maintenance services; or
(d) station services.”
The statute continues by explaining that “network services” includes services of any of the following descriptions:
(a) the construction, maintenance, re-alignment, re-configuration or renewal of track,
(b) the installation, operation, maintenance or renewal of a railway signalling system or of any other railway communication equipment,
(c) the construction, control, maintenance or renewal of electrical conductor rails or overhead lines, of any supports for such rails or lines, and of any electrical substations or power connections used or to be used in connection therewith, and the provision of electrical power by means thereof,
(d) the provision and operation of services for the recovery or repair of locomotives or other rolling stock in connection with any accident, malfunction or mechanical or electrical failure,
(e) the provision and operation of services for keeping track free from, or serviceable notwithstanding, obstruction (whether by snow, ice, water, fallen leaves or any other natural or artificial obstacle or hindrance) or for removing any such obstruction,
(f) the provision, operation, maintenance and renewal of any plant, equipment or machinery used in carrying on any of the activities specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) above,
(g) the exercise of day to day control over train movements over or along any track comprised in the network,
(h) the preparation of a timetable for the purposes of such control as is referred to in paragraph (g) above,
and it is immaterial ... whether or not the person who provides the service in question also provides or operates a network, or any of the track or other installations comprised in a network, or provides the service on behalf of a person who does so.”
Section 82(2) explains that, for the purposes of the definition of “network services”, where a person permits another to use any land or other property comprised in a network he is to be regarded as providing a service which falls within the meaning of “network services”.
NRESNational Rail Enquiries: a public information provider offering advice on timetables and other rail queries.
OFTThe Office of Fair Trading.
OLEOverhead line electrification equipment.
Open access passenger train operators are those who operate services purely on a commercial basis, i.e. not under either a franchise or a concession agreement. These are companies who identify an opportunity to run a service which is not currently being provided, and they apply to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for the necessary track access rights and to Network Rail for train paths in the timetable. Open access passenger operators include Hull Trains and Grand Central.
Operating expense: as distinct from CAPEX (capital expenditure), OPEX refers to ongoing costs incurred by Network Rail to maintain the railway infrastructure. Examples of OPEX include routine safety checks on the railway tracks or repairing signalling when it fails.
ORBISOffering Rail Better Information Services: an eight year programme by Network Rail with the aim to improve the information they hold about infrastructure, supporting Network Rail’s delivery of best practice asset management, consistent with its network licence obligations.
Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Public Concern at Work
Performance Data Accuracy Code : Establishes the standard of recording of the times at which trains arrive at, depart from or pass specified points, and the difference between those times and the corresponding times published in the Working Timetable.
'Possession disruption index – passenger' (PDI-P) and 'Possession disruption index – freight (PDI-F)': a graph indicating the level of disruption caused by possessions over a period of time.
Network Rail needs to restrict access to the network to carry out many of its maintenance and renewals activities.
These restrictions of access are referred to as possessions. Possessions are considered to be 'disruptive' if they impact on the running of passenger or freight operators' normal timetabled services.
Percentage pointThe unit for the arithmetic difference of two percentages.
Directs a party in breach of contract to do, or refrain from doing, anything that the arbitral tribunal making the order considers just and reasonable in the circumstances.
Performance planning process
Network Rail decides what resources (operational, maintenance, renewals) it needs to put in place in order to deliver the required performance target set by the Government.
Permitted business means the Network Business and the Permitted Non-Network Business of Network Rail.
The Train Accident Precursor Indicator Model (the PIM) managed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), measures the risk, per million train miles, of a train accident - i.e. collision, derailment, fire or striking a road vehicle on a level crossing. The measure incorporates 82 precursor events in eight groups. Around 65% of the risk arises from events largely under the control or the responsibility of Network Rail, e.g. track geometry, infrastructure failures, environmental factors (flooding, land slips etc.) and level crossing misuse.
The PIM risk indicator was set to a reference value of 100 at the end of March 2002 and the PIM risk indicator provides a measure of the change in risk relative to this level. A reduction in the index is therefore beneficial, denoting a reduction in risk.
Points failureA fault within a set of points (switches and crossings).
PossessionsNetwork Rail needs to restrict access to its network to carry out many of its maintenance and renewals activities. These restrictions of access are referred to as possessions.
Possessions returnsThe time by which Network Rail has completed its maintenance and renewals activities and train operators can resume their use of the network to operate their services.
PPMThe Public Performance Measure (PPM) is the percentage of franchised passenger trains which arrive at their destination on time.
The periodic review 2008 or PR08 was our assessment of the outputs that Network Rail (who manages the rail infrastructure in Great Britain) must deliver, and the levels of access charges paid by train operators for use of the infrastructure. It covers the five years running from April 2009 to March 2014, also known as control period 4 or CP4.
For more information see our section on periodic reviews.
The Periodic review 2013 or PR13 is our assessment of what Network Rail (who manages the rail infrastructure in Great Britain) must achieve for the next five year period, the money it needs to do so, and the incentives needed to encourage delivery and outperformance for the period from April 2014 to March 2019. This is also known as control period 5 or CP5.
For more information see our PR13 microsite.
Permanent speed restrictions
PTEsPassenger Transport Executives: bodies covering five of the six metropolitan counties in England charged with helping to integrate the use of public transport services, by ensuring that they meet the public’s needs and contribute to the wider social, economic and environmental wellbeing of local communities.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992
Quantum firm right
A firm right for a TOC to operate a number of slots in the timetable over a given period.
RABRegulatory asset base: The Office of Rail Regulation's calculation of the value of Network Rail's assets.
Rail Delivery GroupThe Rail Delivery Group brings together the owners of Britain's Train Operating Companies, Freight Operating Companies and Network Rail to provide leadership to Britain's rail industry.
Railway facilitySection 83(1) of the Railways Act 1993 defines “railway facility” as follows:
“any track, station or light maintenance depot”.
Railway Group Standards
Railway Group Standards (RGS) are produced in accordance with the railway group standards code. The purpose of RGS is to facilitate the management and operation of the shared system that is the mainline railway.
Railway services“Railway services” are defined in section 82(1) of the Railways Act 1993 as “services of any of the following descriptions:
(a) services for the carriage of passengers by railway;
(b) services for the carriage of goods by railway;
(c) light maintenance services;
(d) station services;
(e) network services.”
Railway undertakingIn the context of licensing, any private or public undertaking the principal business of which is to provide rail transport services for goods and/or passengers, with a requirement that the undertaking must ensure traction.
RCFFatigue cracking on a rail caused by rolling contact stresses from passing wheel-sets. There are several types of RCF, the most notable being Gauge corner cracking.
Quantified and robust plan produced by Network Rail to work constructively with the relevant operators (sometimes represented by a recovery board) to reduce delays to freight services or long distance passenger services.
Regulatory allowanceThe expenditure allowed by ORR in calculating the revenue requirement in the access charges review 2003.
ORR may enforce delivery of regulatory targets through Network Rail's network licence.
RenewalMajor capital works or replacement of the network in order to maintain its required capability. These may be required at specific times but are more often carried out according to Network Rail’s own timetable.
RIARegulatory impact assessment
Railway Industry Advisory Committee: provides advice to the ORR Board on railway health and safety.
Rights review meetings
Process whereby Network Rail and freight operators meet every six-months to establish whether the operators continue to have commercial needs for existing rights in accordance with Part J of the Network Code.
Railway operational code: Established by Network Rail under Part H of the Network Code, in consultation with rail industry parties with the objective of sustaining operation of train services on the network in accordance with the Working timetable, the needs of passengers and freight customers; the interests of safety and security; the efficient and economical operation of the network and of trains operating on it, and criteria published by ORR.
ROGSRailways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006.
ROSCOsRolling stock companies. These bodies own most of the rolling stock used on Britain’s railways and lease it to train operators.
RSSBThe Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is an independent, industry-wide body established under the licences of Network Rail and the passenger and freight train operators. RSSB took over from Railway Safety (a subsidiary of Network Rail) principally to run and supervise the system for the establishment, change and abolition of certain mandatory and technical standards for railway assets and railway operations. Its creation was recommended by Lord Cullen’s inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove accident.
Safety Management and interoperability thematic Network for railways systems
Safety management in railways
Services for the carriage of passengers by railwaySection 82(2) of the Railways Act 1993 provides that “services for the carriage of passengers by railway” includes services for and in connection with the carriage of luggage, parcels or mail on trains which at the time are available, and primarily intended, for use by passengers; and references to carrying, or to the carriage of, passengers by railway shall be construed accordingly”.
Services relating to railways
“Services relating to railways” are defined in section 67(3ZA) of the Railways Act 1993 as:
“(a) railway services;
(b) the provision or maintenance of rolling stock;
(c) the development, maintenance or renewal of a network, station or light maintenance depot; and
(d) the development, provision or maintenance of information systems designed wholly or mainly for facilitating the provision of railway services.”
So far as is reasonably practicable.
Signal failureWhere the signalling system fails to work correctly. This includes signal failures, points failures and track circuit failures.
SPADSignal passed at danger: one of the criteria on which the safety of the national rail network is measured. Relates to the occasions where a train passes a signal at which it should have stopped.
Station servicesSection 82(2) of the Railways Act 1993 provides that “station services” means any service which consists of, or is comprised in, the provision or operation of a station”, and section 82(4) of the Railways Act 1993 provides that “In determining whether any service is a station service, it is immaterial whether or not the person who provides the service also provides or operates a station, or any part of a station, or provides the service on behalf of a person who does so.”
Section 82(2) explains that, for the purposes of the definition of “station services”, where a person permits another to use any land or other property comprised in a station he is to be regarded as providing a service which falls within the meaning of “station services”.
A track machine that automatically lifts and aligns the track by adding ballast to level the track.
Super-redAn eighth mile length of track with average alignment or level faults that exceed a maximum level.
T-12The ability of passengers to obtain travel information, make reservations and book tickets in advance is affected by changes to the timetable caused by Network Rail taking possession of lines in order to maintain, renew and enhance the network. Under Condition 2 of its network licence, Network Rail is required to ensure that accurate timetable information is available to train operators at least twelve weeks in advance.
The operation of lifting the track and simultaneously compacting the ballast underneath the sleepers.
TOC on TOCWhere a delayed train service of one train operator delays those of another train operator.
TOCsTrain operating companies: run the (passenger and freight) trains and services on the network. The representative body for the passenger operating companies is the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).
TOPSTotal operations processing system.
Train protection and warning system.
Track circuitTrack circuits are designed to detect the presence of a train, by use of an electrical circuit which is completed by train wheels and axles.
Track circuit failureFailure of a track circuit or associated equipment, including axle-counter failures.
Track geometryThe level and alignment of the track.
TSRTemporary speed restriction imposed for safety reasons. This can arise from the poor condition of track, structures, earthworks, hot weather effects, or following track relaying until the track bed is stabilised.
TSR (COT)A type of Temporary speed restriction that has been imposed specifically due to the poor Condition of track (COT).
A period of time determined by the ORR in relation to the Failure to use mechanism under Part J of the Network Code.
A quota determined by the ORR in relation to the Failure to use mechanism under Part J of the Network Code.
Changes made to the part of a track access contract (Schedule 5) which stipulates which railway vehicles are permitted to be used on the network under Part F of the Network Code.
Vertical profileThe longitudinal vertical profile of the track.
West Coast Main Line
WCRMWest Coast Route Modernisation
Drawn up by Network Rail showing, every train movement on the network. It shows the times of arrival and departure of trains at origin, destination, every intermediate point and appropriate passing points. It also details all the relevant time allowances.
The activities of the WRISA (Wheel Rail Interface System Authority) are now undertaken by the Vehicle/Track System Interface Committee.