Train Operating Companies

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Train Operating Companies (TOC) are a part of the structure of the railway (railroad) system in Great Britain. In England, Scotland and Wales, most railway track is owned by the state-owned company Network Rail, formerly known as Railtrack. Passenger trains are operated by privately owned Train Operating Companies. Different arrangements apply in Northern Ireland.

List of TOCs


  • Abellio Greater Anglia (LE)
  • Arriva Trains Wales (AW)
  • Caledonian Sleepers (CS)
  • Chiltern Railways (CH)
  • Cross Country (XC)
  • c2c (CC)
  • East Midlands Trains (EM)
  • First Hull Trains (HT)
  • First Trans Pennine Express (TP)
  • Gatwick Express (GX)
  • Grand Central (GC)
  • Great Northern (GN)
  • Great Western Railway (GWR)
  • Heathrow Connect (HC)
  • Heathrow Express (HX)
  • Island Line Trains (IL)
  • London Midland (LM)
  • London Overground (LO)
  • Merseyrail (ME)
  • Northern Rail (NT)
  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NY)
  • Scotrail (SR)
  • Southeastern (SE)
  • Southern (SN)
  • South West Trains (SW)
  • TFL Rail (XR)
  • Thameslink (TL)
  • Virgin Trains (VT)
  • Virgin Trains East Coast (GR)

Ownership of TOCs

In the near future, around half of passenger journeys on Britain's railways will be on services owned by foreign companies. What is even more surprising is that many of these companies are state-owned. The British government is prohibited from owning TOCs but no such prohibition applies to foreign governments.[2]


  1. Comprehensive Rail Times for Great Britain, Summer 2016, ISBN 9781908174949
  2. London Evening Standard