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Network Rail regulation

Network Rail is the private sector monopoly owner and operator of the national rail network, including track, signalling, bridges, tunnels and stations. Our principal economic function is to regulate Network Rail's stewardship of the national rail network.

Network licence

Network Rail operates under a network licence (PDF PDF 605 Kb). This licence contains a set of conditions under which Network Rail must operate. Network Rail is also accountable under its licence and Network Rail's accountability pages set out further details about this. Key areas of the licence include:

Monitoring and enforcement

The regulatory framework is designed to provide effective incentives, rewarding Network Rail for doing a good job. Where necessary, we may enforce compliance with the network licence if Network Rail fails to fulfill its obligations, and we may also impose monetary penalties.

Periodic reviews and other access charges reviews

We set the contractual and financial framework within which Network Rail operates the network, ensuring that the company carries out its activities efficiently and is appropriately funded.

Last updated: May 2013

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