List of companies operating trains in the United Kingdom
There are many companies operating trains in the United Kingdom, including the 23 operators of franchised passenger services, officially referred to as "train operating companies" or TOCs, as distinct from "freight operating companies".
Passenger operators in Great Britain
Franchised passenger operator structure in Great Britain
Current passenger operators
The following operate the National Rail network.
|Operator||Type||Franchise||Parent(s)||Passenger satisfaction||Start date||Expiry date||Replaced|
|Abellio Greater Anglia||Franchise||Greater Anglia||Abellio||79%||5 February 2012||15 October 2016||National Express East Anglia|
|Abellio ScotRail||Franchise||ScotRail||Abellio||86%||1 April 2015||31 March 2022||First ScotRail|
|Arriva Trains Wales||Franchise||Wales & Borders||Arriva UK Trains||87%||8 December 2003||13 October 2018||Wales & Borders|
|c2c||Franchise||Essex Thameside||National Express||91%||26 May 1996||10 November 2029||Network SouthEast
(London, Tilbury and Southend Division)
|Chiltern Railways||Franchise||Chiltern Railways||Arriva UK Trains||90%||21 July 1996||21 December 2021||Network SouthEast (Chiltern Division)|
|CrossCountry||Franchise||New CrossCountry||Arriva UK Trains||84%||11 November 2007||9 November 2019||Central Trains (Birmingham – Stansted & Cardiff – Nottingham route) &
Virgin Trains (CrossCountry franchise)
|East Midlands Trains||Franchise||East Midlands||Stagecoach||88%||11 November 2007||14 October 2015||Central Trains (Liverpool – Norwich & East Midlands routes) & Midland Mainline|
|Eurostar||Open access||N/A||Eurostar International Limited, SNCF & NMBS/SNCB||14 November 1994|
|First Great Western||Franchise||Greater Western||FirstGroup||82%||1 April 2006||March 2019||First Great Western, First Great Western Link, Wessex Trains|
|First Hull Trains||Open access||N/A||FirstGroup||93%||25 September 2002||December 2019|
|First TransPennine Express||Franchise||TransPennine||FirstGroup & Keolis||87%||1 February 2004||4 February 2016||Arriva Trains Northern &
First North Western
|Grand Central||Open access||N/A||Arriva UK Trains||95%||18 December 2007||December 2026|
|Heathrow Connect||Open access||N/A||Heathrow Airport Holdings
|92%||12 June 2005|
|Heathrow Express||Open access||N/A||Heathrow Airport Holdings||93%||23 June 1998|
|London Midland||Franchise||West Midlands||Govia||86%||11 November 2007||31 March 2016||Central Trains (Birmingham routes) & Silverlink (Northampton Line)|
|London Overground||TfL concession||London Overground||MTR Corporation
Arriva UK Trains
|85%||11 November 2007||12 November 2016||Silverlink (North London Lines) & Abellio Greater Anglia (West Anglia Lines)|
|Merseyrail||Merseytravel contract||Merseyrail||Serco-Abellio||93%||20 July 2003||19 July 2028||Arriva Trains Merseyside|
|Northern Rail||Franchise||Northern||Serco-Abellio||82%||12 December 2004||4 February 2016||Arriva Trains Northern & First North Western|
|North Yorkshire Moors Railway||Open access||N/A||Yorkshire Moors Railway Enterprises||April 2007||(additional Grosmont—Whitby services)|
|Southeastern||Franchise||Integrated Kent||Govia||80%||1 April 2006||24 June 2018||South Eastern Trains|
|Southern||Franchise||South Central||Govia||82%||26 August 2001||24 July 2015||Connex South Central|
|South West Trains||Franchise||South Western||Stagecoach||87%||4 February 2007||27 April 2019||South West Trains & Island Line|
|TfL Rail||TfL concession||Crossrail||MTR Corporation||N/A||31 May 2015||30 May 2023||Abellio Greater Anglia (Liverpool Street - Shenfield)|
|Thameslink and Great Northern||Franchise||Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern||Govia||N/A||14 September 2014||March 2021|
|Virgin Trains West Coast||Franchise||InterCity West Coast||Virgin Group & Stagecoach||90%||9 March 1997||31 March 2017||InterCity (West Coast Division)|
|Virgin Trains East Coast||Franchise||InterCity East Coast||Virgin Group & Stagecoach||N/A||1 March 2015||N/A||InterCity (East Coast Division)|
|West Coast Railway Company||Open access||N/A||1998||(Fort William—Mallaig summer "Jacobite" services and charter operations)|
Defunct operating companies
Operating companies have ceased to exist for various reasons, including withdrawal of the franchise, the term of the franchise has expired, bankruptcy or merger.
|Operator||Type||Franchise||Parent(s)||Date started||Date ceased||Replaced by|
|Anglia Railways||Franchise||Anglia||GB Railways||5 January 1997||31 March 2004||one (National Express East Anglia)|
|Franchise||Merseytravel contract||Arriva UK Trains||February 2000||20 July 2003||Merseyrail|
|Arriva Trains Northern||Franchise||Regional Railways North East||Arriva UK Trains||February 2000||12 December 2004||Northern Rail & First TransPennine Express|
|Central Trains||Franchise||Central||National Express||2 March 1997||11 November 2007||CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains & London Midland|
|Connex South Central||Franchise||South Central||Connex||13 October 1996||16 June 2001||Southern|
|Connex South Eastern||Franchise||South Eastern||Connex||26 May 1996||9 November 2003||South Eastern Trains|
|East Coast||Franchise||InterCity East Coast||Directly Operated Railways||14 November 2009||28 February 2015||Virgin Trains East Coast|
|First Capital Connect||Franchise||Thameslink Great Northern||FirstGroup||1 April 2006||13 September 2014||Thameslink and Great Northern|
|First Great Eastern||Franchise||Great Eastern||FirstGroup||5 January 1997||31 March 2004||one (National Express East Anglia)|
|Franchise||Thames||FirstGroup||1 April 2004||31 March 2006||First Great Western|
|First North Western||Franchise||North West Regional Railways||FirstGroup||2 March 1997||12 December 2004||Northern Rail, First TransPennine Express & Arriva Trains Wales|
|First ScotRail||Franchise||Scotrail||FirstGroup||17 October 2004||31 March 2015||Abellio ScotRail|
|Gatwick Express||Franchise||Gatwick Express||National Express||28 April 1996||22 June 2008||Southern|
|Great North Eastern Railway||Franchise||InterCity East Coast||Sea Containers||28 April 1996||8 December 2007||National Express East Coast|
|Great Western Trains||Franchise||Great Western||Great Western Holdings||4 February 1996||March 1998||First Great Western|
|Island Line||Franchise||Island Line||Stagecoach||13 October 1996||3 February 2007||South West Trains|
|Merseyrail Electrics||Merseytravel contract||Merseyrail||MTL||19 January 1997||February 2000||Arriva Trains Merseyside|
|Midland Mainline||Franchise||Midland Main Line||National Express||28 February 1996||11 November 2007||East Midlands Trains|
|National Express East Anglia||Franchise||Greater Anglia||National Express||1 April 2004||5 February 2012||Abellio Greater Anglia|
|National Express East Coast||Franchise||InterCity East Coast||National Express||9 December 2007||13 November 2009||East Coast|
|Northern Spirit||Franchise||Regional Railways North East||MTL||2 March 1997||February 2000||Arriva Trains Northern|
|North Western Trains||Franchise||North West Regional Railways||Great Western Holdings||2 March 1997||March 1998||First North Western|
|ScotRail||Franchise||ScotRail||National Express||31 March 1997||17 October 2004||First ScotRail|
|South Eastern Trains||Franchise||South Eastern||Strategic Rail Authority||9 November 2003||31 March 2006||Southeastern|
|Silverlink (previously North
|Franchise||North London Railways||National Express||2 March 1997||11 November 2007||London Midland & London Overground|
|Thames Trains||Franchise||Thames||Go-Ahead Group||13 October 1996||31 March 2004||First Great Western Link|
|Thameslink||Franchise||Thameslink||Govia||2 March 1997||31 March 2006||First Capital Connect|
|Valley Lines||Franchise||Valley Lines||National Express||13 October 1996||13 October 2001||Wales & Borders|
|Virgin CrossCountry||Franchise||CrossCountry||Virgin Group
|5 January 1997||11 November 2007||CrossCountry, Virgin Trains (West Coast) & First TransPennine Express|
|West Anglia Great Northern
(West Anglia Main Line and Lea Valley Lines)
|Franchise||West Anglia Great Northern||National Express||5 January 1997||31 March 2004||one (National Express East Anglia)|
|West Anglia Great Northern
(Great Northern and Fenline routes)
|Franchise||West Anglia Great Northern||National Express||5 January 1997||31 March 2006||First Capital Connect|
|Wales & Borders||Franchise||Wales & Borders||National Express||14 October 2001||7 December 2003||Arriva Trains Wales|
|Wales & West||Franchise||Wales & West||Prism Rail||13 October 1996||13 October 2001||Wales & Borders & Wessex Trains|
|Wessex Trains||Franchise||Wessex||National Express||14 October 2001||31 March 2006||First Great Western|
|Wrexham & Shropshire||Open access||Wrexham to London||DB Regio
|28 April 2008||28 January 2011||Closed due to lack of profitability|
- MTR Crossrail, a concession let by TfL for the cross-London Maidenhead/Heathrow to Shenfield/Abbey Wood line. It will take control of its first services from 2015 with the full franchise operating from 2018.
- Renaissance Trains, former shareholder in Wrexham & Shropshire, has proposed:
- Alliance Rail Holdings currently proposes Great North Western Railway services from 2015
- Go! Cooperative (GOCO) from Westbury (Wiltshire) to Birmingham Moor Street from 2014.
- Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) from London to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Cologne via the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1 from December 2013, delayed until December 2015
Passenger operators in Northern Ireland
- Branch Line Society
- Compass Tours
- DPS Railtours
- NENTA Train Tours
- Pathfinder Tours
- Railway Touring Company
- Scottish Railway Preservation Society
- Statesman Rail
- Steam Dreams
- UK Railtours
- Venice-Simplon Orient Express (British Pullman and Northern Belle services)
- Vintage Trains
In Northern Ireland
- Colas Rail
- Devon and Cornwall Railways
- Direct Rail Services
- DB Schenker (formerly English Welsh & Scottish Railway)
- GB Railfreight
- Mendip Rail
- National Passenger Survey Autumn 2010 Main Report
- "Pre-Qualification Process Document – Greater Anglia Franchise" (PDF). BBC News. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
- "DfT Rail franchise schedule" (PDF). Department for Transport. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "c2c awarded 15-year Essex Thameside rail franchise". BBC News. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- FTPE's website
- In May 2010 Grand Northern services began, branded Grand Central to allow a single fleet pool to be used.
- "Glasgow Trains". Renaissance Trains. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Humber Coast and City Railway". Renaissance Trains. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "04/05/12 – Alliance Rail Press Release". Alliance Rail Holdings. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "GOCO Train". GOCO. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- "Planned highspeed service from London to Amsterdam and Frankfurt". Deutsche Bahn. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- Odell, Mark (8 December 2011). "Delays hit Deutsche Bahn’s London timetable". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 August 2012.