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Association of Train Operating Companies

Association of Train Operating Companies
Industry Rail transport
Predecessor British Rail
Founded 1994
Headquarters London, United Kingdom

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 in London.

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.


  • Main operations 1
  • Senior personnel 2
  • Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Main operations

In December 2009 ATOC outsourced call centre operations for National Rail Enquiries to India with the loss of 200 jobs in the UK.[1] The House of Commons Transport Select Committee had considered the move in 2004.[2]

Senior personnel

  • Michael Roberts, chief executive since 2008, replacing George Muir, director general 1999 - 2008
  • Gary Cooper, director of operations and engineering
  • 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
  • George Lynn, 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.[3][4]

The report outlined seven towns where potential new stations could be built. These towns include Clay Cross/North Wingfield, Ilkeston, Kenilworth, Ossett, Peterlee, Rushden and Wantage/Grove.[5] As of 2015, Ilkeston is the only town where construction has begun on a new station with the station due to open in 2016.[6] Oxfordshire County Council have included a proposal for a Wantage & Grove station in their local transport plan however nothing has yet been confirmed for definite regarding the station's opening.[7]

See also

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).


  1. ^ National Rail Enquiries Transfers Call Centre Jobs From The UK To India Sky News. 16 July 2009
  2. ^ National Rail Enquiry Service - Eleventh Report of Session 2003-04 House of Commons Transport Select Committee
  3. ^ "Move to reinstate lost rail lines".  
  4. ^ "Connecting Communities - expanding access to the rail network" (PDF). London: Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. Archived from the original (pdf) on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ilkeston railway station
  7. ^

External links

  • Association of Train Operating Companies website
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