Association of Train Operating Companies
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is a body that represents the 23 train operating companies that provide passenger services on the privatised British railway system. It owns the National Rail brand. ATOC is an unincorporated association owned by its members. It was set up by the train operators formed during privatisation of the railways under the Railways Act 1993. Its office is near Russell Square Underground station.
Services provided by ATOC include National Rail Enquiries, sponsorship of the PlusBus Schemes, the management of rail discount cards and the licensing of railway travel agents. It also produces the definitive National Routeing Guide, available on its website, defining the validity of tickets, and has some input in the content of the National Fares Manual, which is distributed by the National Rail website.
- Revenue allocation and settlement through ORCATS systems
- National Rail enquiries
- Railcard marketing
- Staff travel arrangements
- International products
- The relationship with Transport for London
- Travel agent licensing
In December 2009 ATOC outsourced call centre operations for National Rail Enquiries to India with the loss of 200 jobs in the UK. The House of Commons Transport Select Committee had considered the move in 2004.
- Tom Smith, chairman, replacing Mike Alexander 2008-2009
- Michael Roberts, chief executive since 2008, replacing George Muir, director general 1999 - 2008
- Edward Welsh, director of corporate affairs
- Alec McTavish, policy and operations director
- Chris Scoggins, chief executive, National Rail enquiries
- Steve Howes, managing director of RSP since September 2008, replacing Antony Lain as CEO
- David Mapp, commercial director
- Chris Wade, finance director
Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network
On 15 June 2009, ATOC published the report, Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network, an analysis for short-term localised development of the passenger network, detailing schemes taking from between two years nine months to six years to complete, that it believed would be commercially viable (i.e. with a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of over 1.0). These would complement existing long-term national projects. The report detailed up to 40 communities with a population of over 15,000 where stations could be built or re-opened, including 14 schemes involving using new or re-opened lines, and seven new Parkway stations on existing passenger lines.
As rail franchising also takes place in other countries, most European countries have one or more equivalent organisation.
In Germany, the Tarifverband der Bundeseigenen und Nichtbundeseigenen Eisenbahnen in Deutschland (Tariff Association of Federal and Non-Federal Railways in Germany; TBNE) is responsible for railway ticket revenue distribution. Political representation of TOCs is carried out by mofair e.V.
In Sweden, the equivalent organisation is the Branschföreningen Tågoperatörerna (Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies).
- National Rail Enquiries Transfers Call Centre Jobs From The UK To India Sky News. 16 July 2009
- National Rail Enquiry Service - Eleventh Report of Session 2003-04 House of Commons Transport Select Committee
- "Move to reinstate lost rail lines". BBC News. 15 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- "Connecting Communities" (pdf). Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2012.