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Rail dates

Contents:

(click a title below to go direct to that section)
Consultations
Franchising
Network Rail Control Period 7 planning
Publications
Route improvement works
Various

Consultations

DfT new
31 May 2024. Friday. Close of DfT consultation on Adapting the UK’s transport system to the impacts of climate change

Transport for the South East.jpg
2 June 2024. Sunday. Close of Transport for the South East Your Voices survey for the Transport Strategy refresh.

Consultation responses to date, by organisation, can be viewed or downloaded here.

Franchising

DfT new

Summary of current re-franchising

28 October 2021. Thursday. See Public register of rail passenger contracts including updates.

2018

16 May 2018. Virgin Trains East Coast franchise termination announced.
24 June 2018. London North Eastern Railway became new East Coast Main Line operator under DfT Operator of Last Resort Holdings Ltd.
20 September 2018. CrossCountry refranchising was halted, pending rail review.

2019

First Group Trenitalia Avanti West Coast
8 December 2019. Sunday. Virgin Trains West Coast franchise ended; West Coast Rail: new First/Trenitalia West Coast Partnership franchise commenced, until December 2031 and extendable to December 2034. See franchise agreement, and subsequent emergency measures and emergency recovery measures agreements.

2020

CrossCountry new
February 2020. Arriva CrossCountry Direct Award due to end (extension by 4 additional reporting periods from October 2019, further 9 additional reporting periods extension available at Transport Secretary's discretion). Arriva CrossCountry contract extended to October 2020, with funding for longer trains starting May 2020.
DfT OLR Holdings NORTHERN Railway
1 March 2020. Sunday. Northern Trains Ltd began operation of former Northern franchise as part of DfT OLR Holdings Ltd, until 1 March 2025.
23 March 2020. Monday. All DfT franchise operators transferred to Emergency Measures Agreements for six months.
Great Western Railway.png
30 March 2020. Monday. Great Western Railway (First Group) was granted a new Direct Award for three years, extendable to four.
Southeastern
30 March 2020. Monday. Southeastern (Govia) granted a new Direct Award until 16 October 2021, extendable to 31 March 2022.
DfT OLR Holdings LNER 2
28 June 2020. Sunday. Expiry of London North Eastern Railway's first Direct Award from 24 June 2018. start of second Direct Award to June 2023. On 26 June LNER was given a second Direct Award, for three years to June 2023 and extendable by up to two years, to continue operations beyond its first expiry date on Sunday 28 June 2020.
21 September 2020. Monday. Emergency Measures Agreements were replaced with Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) for up to a further 18 months.
October 2020. Arriva CrossCountry contract extended again to 15 October 2023.

2021


2nd version
7 February 2021. Sunday. Transport for Wales Rail Ltd, a subsidiary of Transport for Wales, began operation of former Wales & Borders franchise by previous operator KeolisAmey Wales.

Southeastern
28 September 2021. Southeastern extension option was foregone in favour of DfT's Operator of Last Resort Holdings Ltd, from 17 October 2021.

DfT OLR Holdings Southeastern
16 October 2021. New Southeastern Direct Award due to end, extendable to 31 March 2022. See new SE Direct Award. Instead, DfT's Operator of Last Resort Holdings Ltd takes over from 17 October 2021.

Chiltern Railways new
31 December 2021. Chiltern Railways franchise due to end. New National Rail Contract, awarded 2 December, commenced 31 December, initially until 31 March 2025, extendable to 31 December 2027. Business Plan for 2023/24 added 11 December 2023.

2022


Abellio Image
31 March 2022. Thursday. ScotRail franchise due to end (was eligible for up to three years extension). See Transport Scotland.

Transport Scotland.jpg ScotRail - Reile na h-Alba
1 April 2022. Friday. ScotRail Trains Limited, owned and overseen by Scottish Rail Holdings Ltd (SRH Ltd), which is wholly owned by the Scottish Government, starts new ScotRail franchise.

First Group Great Western Railway.png
Great Western Railway was awarded a replacement contract, expiring 25 June 2028.

2023


Heathrow Express
Access rights for Heathrow Express to London Heathrow Airport Terminals 2/3 and 5 due to expire. 

DfT OLR Holdings Image
28 May 2023. Sunday. TransPennine Trains Ltd takes over from First TransPennine Express Ltd as part of DfT's Operator of Last Resort Holdings Ltd.

Image
28 May 2023. Sunday. First/MTR South Western contract expiry.

MTR Elizabeth line
Transport for London 8-year concession for MTR Elizabeth line (potential for 2-year extension) due to end/start of next concession expected.

DfT OLR Holdings LNER 2
2 June 2023. Sunday. London North Eastern Railway expiry of second Direct Award, notice of variation added extending by a further 2 years. Business Plan for 2023/24 added 11 December 2023.

Serco Caledonian Sleeper.jpg
23 June 2023. Friday. Caledonian Sleeper 15-year Serco franchise terminated, 7 years early. Transport Scotland to become Operator of Last Resort.

ScotRail - Reile na h-Alba Caledonian Sleeper.jpg
25 June 2023. Sunday. ScotRail Trains Limited, owned and overseen by Scottish Rail Holdings Ltd (SRH Ltd), which is wholly owned by the Scottish Government, starts new Caledonian Sleeper franchise.

Trenitalia C2C.png
23 July 2023. Sunday. Essex Thameside contract expiry; notice of variation extended the contract until 20 July 2025.

CrossCountry new
15 October 2023. Sunday. Arriva CrossCountry operating contract due to end. Award on 19 September of a new National Rail Contract for minimum of four years, extendable to eight.

First Group Trenitalia Avanti West Coast
15 October 2023. Sunday. Avanti West Coast awarded on 19 September a new National Rail Contract for minimum of three years, extendable to nine.

2024


Arriva Rail London London Overground
Transport for London 7.5-year concession for London Overground with option for 2-year extension to May 2026 confirmed.

2025


DfT OLR Holdings NORTHERN Railway
1 March 2025. Sunday. Northern Trains Ltd direct award services contract expires.

Chiltern Railways new
31 March 2025. Chiltern Railways new contract awarded in December 2021 due to expire.

Image
1 April 2025. Govia Thameslink Railway's Thameslink / Southern / Great Northern direct award due to expire.

Transport for London | TfL Logo DLR.png
1 April 2025. KeolisAmey's DLR contract expires.

Transport for London | TfL Logo MTR Elizabeth line
Latest possible end/start of Transport for London Elizabeth line operating concession.

Image
25 May 2025. Sunday. First/MTR South Western Trains 2023 contract variation expiry.

DfT OLR Holdings LNER 2
22 June 2025. Sunday. London North Eastern Railway expiry of extended second Direct Award.

Trenitalia C2C.png
20 July 2025. Sunday. Trenitalia c2c Ltd July 2023 contract variation due to expire.

Transport UK Group Greater Anglia - new
October 2025. Greater Anglia franchise due to end (eligible for up to 13 additional 'reporting periods' extension at Secretary of State's discretion), new East Anglia franchise would have been due to commence.

2026


Transport UK Group West Midlands Trains.png
1 April 2026. West Midlands Trains franchise due to end (subject to option for extension of up to 2 years.)

London Overground
May 2026. Latest possible end/start of Transport for London extended operating concession for London Overground.

2027


Chiltern Railways new
31 December 2027. Chiltern Railways National Rail Contract, awarded 2 December 2021, due to end.

2028


Transport UK Group Merseyrail.png
Merseyrail concession due for renewal.

First Group Great Western Railway.png
25 June 2028. Great Western Railway new contract, awarded in June 2022, due to expire.

2030


Caledonian Sleeper.jpg
March 2030. Caledonian Sleeper 15-year franchise was due to end but terminated in June 2023.

Transport UK Group East Midlands Railway
13 October 2030. East Midlands Railway new contract, awarded in October 2022, due to expire.

2031


First Group Trenitalia Avanti West Coast
April 2031. First/Trenitalia West Coast Partnership due to end; extensions available up to April 2034. More info: First/Trenitalia WCP

2033


2nd version
October 2033. Wales & Borders and new South Wales Metro franchise due to end.

2034


First Group Trenitalia Avanti West Coast
April 2034. First/Trenitalia West Coast Partnership extensions due to end. More info: First/Trenitalia WCP

Network Rail Control Period 7 planning

Image Image DfT new
Rail infrastructure investment planning for 2024-29, Control Period 7.
Office of Rail & Road's 2023 Periodic Review (PR23) for Control Period 7 (CP7) 2024-29 started on 17 June 2021 with consultation on Review of the Schedule 8 train performance regime (17 June - 10 September) and then on Review of Network Rail's access charges (15 July - 24 September 2021). PR23 policy framework initial consultations began with a policy consultation on outcomes, infrastructure performance and managing change (28 July - 30 September 2022).
The Transport Secretary issued a Written Statement to Parliament on 1 December 2022 when publishing the High Level Output Specification (HLOS) and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) for CP7.
Network Rail published their Strategic Business Plan for Control Period 7 (2024-29) on 19 May 2023.
The Office of Rail and Road published their draft Determination on Network Rail's Strategic Business Plan on 15th June for consultation.
The ORR published their Final Determination for England & Wales on 31st October 2023, and Network Rail responded. Also published was the Final Determination for Scotland.
Network Rail published its Delivery Plan for Control Period 7 (2024-29), on 3 April 2024. More details here.
See PR23 timeline.

Publications


2020

July

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Click for Publications including the 4-weekly Rail User Survey.

2023

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Click for Publication dates for statistics.

August

3 August 2023. Thursday. Train Operating Company Key Statistics 2022/23 published. More info: TOCs

September

28 September 2023. Thursday. Rail safety statistics 2022/23 published. More info: ORR

October

19 October 2023. Thursday. Rail infrastructure and assets 2022/23 published. More info: ORR

November

14 November 2023. Thursday. Rail Emissions 2022/23 published. More info: ORR

December

14 December 2023. Thursday. Estimates of station usage for 2022/23 published. More info: ORR

2024


February

22 February 2024. Thursday. Regional rail usage 2022/23 published. More info: ORR.

March

7 March 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail performance Q3 2023/24 (October-December 2023) published - Public Performance Measure (PPM), Cancelled and Significantly Late (CaSL). More info: ORR

14 March 2024. Thursday. Freight rail usage and performance Q3 2023/24 (October-December 2023) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

21 March 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q3 2023/24 (October-December 2023) published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

April

4 April 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail service complaints Q3 2023/24 (October-December 2023). More info: ORR

4 April 2024. Thursday. Delay compensation claims, rail periods 8-10 (15 October 2023-6 January 2024). More info: ORR

11 April 2024. Thursday. Disabled Persons Railcard (DPRC) and assisted journeys data for 15 October 2023-6 January 2024 (periods 8-10) published. More info: ORR and ORR

19 April 2024. Friday. Passenger rail performance: Cancellations data for Period 13, 3-31 March. More info: ORR

May

30 May 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail performance Q4 2023/24 (January-March 2024) published - Public Performance Measure (PPM), Cancelled and Significantly Late (CaSL). More info: ORR

June

6 June 2024. Thursday. Freight rail usage and performance Q4 2023/24 (January-March 2024) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

13 June 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q4 2023/24 (January-March 2024) published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

27 June 2024. Thursday. Passenger rail service complaints Q4 2023/24 (January-March 2024). More info: ORR

27 June 2024. Thursday. Delay compensation claims, rail periods 11-13 (7 January-31 March 2024). More info: ORR

Route improvement works

Image Image
Planned improvement works in 2024 - but why do it at weekends and over bank holidays?
Mind how you go, or you'll NOT enjoy your 'trip': watch THIS!
~ 6 January 2018 onwards - Great North Rail Project works, including Transpennine Route Upgrade. Enjoy the highlights; buy the book.
~ 27-30 July - services suspended through Oxford for replacement of Botley Road bridge just south of station.

Various


2019


December


Image
31 December 2019. Tuesday. Final date for rail vehicles to comply with accessibility regulations. More info: ORR and DfT

2021


September


Underground.png
20 September 2021. Monday. Start of extended services on Northern line to Battersea Power Station, via Kennington and Nine Elms. More info: NLE

November


Great Western Railway.png
20 November 2021. Saturday. Start of regular Exeter-Okehampton services on The Dartmoor Line.

December


Greater Anglia new
12 December 2021. Sunday. Start of regular services for re-opened Soham station.

2022


May


Image
24 May 2022. Tuesday. Start of Elizabeth line services between Paddington Low Level and Abbey Wood.

July


London Overground
18 July 2022. Start of scheduled London Overground services between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside.

October

Image
24 October 2022. Monday. Elizabeth line's Bond Street station opens.

November


Image
6 November 2022. Sunday. Start of Elizabeth line through services between Paddington and Shenfield, and between Reading / Heathrow Airport and Abbey Wood.

2023


May


Image
21 May 2023. Sunday. Completion of full Elizabeth line through services between Reading / Heathrow Airport and Abbey Wood / Shenfield.

December


Image
10 December 2023. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2024


April


Image
1 April 2024. Control Period 7 (2024-29) starts.

May


Electoral Commission
2 May 2024. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
2 June 2024. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

Transport Scotland.jpg ScotRail - Reile na h-Alba
2 June 2024. Sunday. Levenmouth line passenger services due to start!
Northumberland County Council NORTHERN Railway
2 June 2024. Sunday. Northumberland Line passenger services due to start?

December


Image
15 December 2024. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

Image
15 December 2024. Sunday. East West Rail services due to start between Oxford and Bletchley?

2025


May


Electoral Commission
1 May 2025. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
18 May 2025. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
14 December 2025. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

Image
14 December 2025. Sunday. East West Rail services due to start between Oxford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley.

2026


May


Electoral Commission
7 May 2026. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
17 May 2026. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
13 December 2026. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2027


May


Electoral Commission
6 May 2027. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
16 May 2027. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
12 December 2027. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2028


May


Electoral Commission
4 May 2028. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
21 May 2028. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
10 December 2028. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

Image
10 December 2028. Sunday. East West Rail services due to start between Bedford and Oxford.

2029


April


Image
1 April 2029. Control Period 8 (2029-34) starts.

May


Electoral Commission
3 May 2029. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
20 May 2029. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
9 December 2029. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

First Group Trenitalia
9 December 2029. Sunday. HS2 'preview' services start between Old Oak Common and
~ Birmingham Curzon Street via Birmingham Interchange (3tph)
~ Liverpool Lime Street via Crewe and Runcorn (1tph)
~ Manchester Piccadilly via Wilmslow and Stockport (1tph)
~ Glasgow Central via Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, and Carlisle (1tph).

2030


May


Electoral Commission
2 May 2030. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
19 May 2030. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
8 December 2030. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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8 December 2030. Sunday. East West Rail services due to start between Cambridge and Oxford.

2031


May


Electoral Commission
1 May 2031. Thursday. UK local elections.

Image
18 May 2031. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


Image
14 December 2031. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

Image
14 December 2031. Sunday. HS2 services start between London Euston, Old Oak Common and
~ Birmingham Curzon Street via Birmingham Interchange (3tph)
~ Liverpool Lime Street via Crewe and Runcorn, and Lancaster via Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, and Preston (1tph, dividing northbound/joining southbound at Crewe)
~ Liverpool Lime Street via Crewe and Runcorn (1tph)
~ Manchester Piccadilly via Stockport (3tph, of which 1tph also Wilmslow)
~ Glasgow Central via Preston and Carlisle (1tph)
~ Macclesfield via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent (1tph).