Alignment Route or former course of a railway track. In essence, a line drawn on a map. See also formation.

Association of Train Operating Companies See Rail Delivery Group.

AWS Automatic Warning System, introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1950s to provide a train driver with an audible warning and visual reminder that they are approaching a distant signal at caution. Source: Wikipedia.

Campaign for Better Transport Formerly named Transport 2000, Campaign for Better Transport is a UK advocacy group that promotes sustainable transport, including better bus and rail services. More information: Wikipedia | website

Control period Network Rail Control Periods are the five-year timespans with which Network Rail, the owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain, works for financial and other planning purposes. Each Control Period begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March to coincide with the financial year. Control Period 6 (CP6) runs from 2019–2024. Control Period 7 (CP7) will start in 2024 and end in 2029. Read more on Wikipedia.

DCO Development Consent Order. Under the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) a developer intending to construct a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) such as a new railway line in England that is to be operated by Network Rail (above certain thresholds) must obtain ‘development consent’. In the case of transport NSIPs, after examining an application the Planning Inspectorate makes a report and recommendation on the project to the Secretary of State for Transport, who then decides whether to grant or refuse development consent. If the decision is to give consent for a project to go ahead, the Secretary of State for Transport will make a ‘development consent order’. This contains the consent and other authorisations (eg to purchase land compulsorily) which the developer needs to construct and operate the project. Source and more information: Department for Transport — Nationally significant infrastructure projects in the transport sector.

DfT Department for Transport, the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have not been devolved. The department is run by the Secretary of State for Transport, currently Grant Shapps. Source: Wikipedia.

EAST Early Assessment Sifting Tool, a decision support tool developed by the Department for Transport which sets out criteria to help inform early views of transport intervention options, based on the following criteria: scale of impact in solving the identified problem; fit with wider transport and government objectives; degree of consensus over outcomes; economic growth (connectivity, reliability, wider impacts, resilience, housing); carbon emissions; other economic impacts (socio-distributional and the regions, local environment, well-being); managerial (implementation timetable, public acceptability, practical feasibility); financial and commercial (capital cost, revenue costs, source of funding). Source: Restoring the Valley-to-City Link—Early Strategic Case for Investment by Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr—pdf).

EEP Economic Equilibrium Test. A test conducted by the Office of Rail and Road to inform a decision on whether to approve certain rail open access applications. Download Guidance on the Economic Equilibrium Test, Office of Rail and Road (pdf—March 2019).

FBC Full Business Case. See also SOBC.

There is a key distinction between the transport appraisal process and the decision-making process. The transport appraisal process is about options generation, development and evaluation of intervention impacts. In contrast, the decision-making process involves a separate governance process concerned with identifying and implementing interventions that deliver the needs of the sponsoring organisation and fits best with its investment funding objectives. On April 2011, the Department published the Transport Business Case Assessment [download Transport Business Cases, DfT, 2013—pdf], setting out the principles on how the Department assesses the business case for major investments and supports Ministers as they make decisions on them.

Source: Transport Analysis Guidance, Department for Transport (pdf).
FOC Freight operating company.

Formation Whereas an alignment has no physical form, a formation is something tangible: the raised ground on which the track is laid, or the physical evidence of a former railway line.

GRIP Governance for Railway Investment Projects, a key Network Rail process for managing railway projects. Each of the eight stages — referred to as GRIP2, GRIP3 etc. — is designed to deliver a pre-determined set of outputs that demonstrate the readiness of the project to progress to the next stage with the necessary funding in place – or otherwise. The Department for Transport has a similar but separate process, the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.

Governance for Railway Investment Projects — Network Rail

Download Investing in the Network (pdf)

LEP Local enterprise partnership. In England, local enterprise partnerships are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses, set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area. They carry out some of the functions previously carried out by the regional development agencies that were abolished in March 2012. Currently there are 38 local enterprise partnerships in operation. Source: Wikipedia.

LTP Local transport plan. Local transport plans, divided into full local transport plans (LTP) and local implementation plans for transport (LIP) are an important part of transport planning in England. Strategic transport authorities (county councils, unitary authorities, passenger transport authorities and London Borough councils), are expected to prepare them as forward-looking plans covering a number of years (typically five years), and present them to the Department for Transport. Different arrangements apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as transport is a devolved matter. Source: Wikipedia.

National Rail In the United Kingdom, National Rail is the trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group, an unincorporated association whose membership consists of the passenger train operating companies (TOCs) of England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland, which is bordered by the Republic of Ireland, has a different system. National Rail services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that generally do not extend to services that were not part of British Rail. Source: Wikipedia.

Network Rail The owner (via its subsidiary Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, which was known as Railtrack plc before 2002) and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain. Network Rail is an arm’s length public body of the Department for Transport with no shareholders, which reinvests its income in the railways. Source: Wikipedia.

OOC Old Oak Common, a major station under construction in Acton, west London. The station will provide an interchange between Great Western services into Paddington, Elizabeth line (Crossrail), HS2, and North Acton station on the Central line. There are also plans for connections to be made with London Overground, the West London Orbital and possibly Chiltern Railways. See Old Oak Common station | Old Oak Common Lane station (London Overground) | Old Oak Common Victoria Road station (Dudding Hill line / West London Orbital)

OOR Office of Rail and Road. ORR regulates Network Rail by setting its activities and funding requirements for each Control Period, ensuring train operators have fair access to the railway network, and enforcing compliance with its network licence. ORR also regulates High Speed 1, the Channel Tunnel, and also acts as the appeal body, controls the network statement and monitors the competitive situation of rail services in Northern Ireland. It is the competition authority for the railways and enforces consumer protection law in relation to the railways. Source: Office of Rail and Road – Wikipedia.

Project Speed A new infrastructure delivery taskforce in the UK, led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It will bring forward proposals to deliver government’s public investment projects more strategically and efficiently. The taskforce will aim to cut down the time it takes to develop, design and deliver vital infrastructure projects. For example, it will look at how it can address outdated practices and identify blocks to progress. Source: PM: A New Deal for Britain, on GOV.UK website. Network Rail has revealed the thirteen programmes, with an emphasis on electrification, which it aims to progress urgently as part of the Project Speed initiative. These include the Northumberland line (Ashington – Newcastle) reopening, restoring passenger services between Cowley and Oxford (part of Oxford Connect), and restoring regular passenger services to Okehampton in Devon, including the building of a new Okehampton East Parkway station. Source: Project Speed, by Chris Page, on Railfuture website.

Proposed vs. planned On this website, proposed means that a reopening scheme promoter has presented a convincing argument for reopening or opening a railway line or station. Planned means a reopening scheme has been developed into a Strategic Outline Business Case or Full Business Case.

Public transport railway We use this term when discussing a railway line intended to carry people from one location to another for practical purposes such as commuting or visiting friends, in contrast to a heritage railway where the passengers are simply enjoying a train ride. We talk about public transport services or public transport railway services when discussing current or proposed services provided by a train operating company over such a railway.

Rail Delivery Group The UK rail industry membership body that brings together passenger and freight rail companies, Network Rail and High Speed 2. The Association of Train Operating Companies and the Rail Delivery Group adopted the single name Rail Delivery Group in October 2016. For more information, see the National Rail definition above or view the Wikipedia entry for Rail Delivery Group.

Railfuture An independent campaign for a better passenger and freight rail network. Railfuture website

RNEP Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline, launched In October 2019 by the DfT and detailing more than 50 projects currently under development in England and Wales. These range from major programmes such as the TransPennine route upgrade to small-scale station improvements. Projects moving through the pipeline have to pass through a series of decision gateways as shown in the graphic below. Source: DfT reveals the rail projects in its enhancements pipeline, on the website of Local Transport Today. “It should be noted that these stages do not and need not directly align with the Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) stages used by Network Rail. However, some of the later stages will be informed by GRIP related activities.” Source: DfT document cited below.

Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline — Department for Transport

Source of graphic and more information: Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline, a New Approach for Rail Enhancements, Department for Transport (pdf).

Reversing Beeching See Restoring Your Railway Fund.

Restoring Your Railway Fund The Department for Transport (DfT) is inviting MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations. This funding is split into three categories to ensure DfT can support different projects at different phases of development. The three categories are: (1) The Ideas Fund, to restore rail services, other than rail station creation or restoration. DfT will fund 75% of costs up to £50,000 of successful proposals to help fund transport and economic studies and create a business case. Future funding to develop projects would be subject to agreement of the business case. (2) Accelerating existing proposals, to increase development of previously submitted rail proposals. (3) Proposals for new or restored rail stations. Currently, 10 submissions have been approved for funding and a further 50 bids are being evaluated. Source and more information: Department for Transport — Restoring Your Railway Fund.

RUS Route Utilisation Strategy, a term formerly used by Network Rail, which has replaced it with long-term planning process (LTPP).

Reopening scheme promoter A community group, local authority or other organisation that is the driving force behind the reopening (or opening) of a station or line.

ROSCO Rolling stock company. A company owning and maintaining railway locomotives and carriages, which are leased to the train operating companies that operate the trains. The main ROSCOs in the UK are Porterbrook, Eversholt Rail Group and Angel Trains.

SOBC Strategic Outline Business Case. See also FBC.

STAG Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance. This is the Scottish equivalent of GRIP. It consists of one process with four phases: Pre-Appraisal, Part 1 Appraisal, Part 2 Appraisal, and Post Appraisal. Read more on the Transport Scotland website.

TfL Transport for London, a local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London. TfL was created in 2000 as part of the Greater London Authority. It gained most of its functions from its predecessor London Regional Transport in 2000. TfL has responsibility for London’s network of principal road routes, and for various rail networks including the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and TfL Rail. It does not control National Rail services in London, however, but does control London’s trams, buses and taxis, cycling provision and river services. TfL is also responsible, jointly with the national Department for Transport, for commissioning the construction of the new Elizabeth (formerly Crossrail) line, and will be responsible for franchising its operation once completed. Source: Wikipedia with minor edits.

TOC Train operating company. Generally a franchise holder (Great Western Railway or Avanti West Coast, for example) or open access operator (such as Hull Trains or Grand Central).

TPWS Train Protection & Warning System. The purpose of TPWS is to stop a train by automatically initiating a brake if the train has passed a signal at danger without authority, approached a signal at danger too fast, approached a reduction in permissible speed too fast, or approached buffer stops too fast. Source: Wikipedia.

TWAO Transport Works Act Order. An order made under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (the TWA) is the usual way of authorising a new railway or tramway scheme in England and Wales. Source: Transport and Works Act orders: a brief guide, on GOV.UK website.

WebTAG Web-based Transport Analysis Guidance, the Department for Transport’s transport appraisal guidance and toolkit. It consists of software tools and guidance on transport modelling and appraisal methods that are applicable for highways and public transport interventions. These facilitate the appraisal and development of transport interventions, enabling analysts to build evidence to support business case development, to inform investment funding decisions. Source: Transport Analysis Guidance, Department for Transport (pdf).