Latest Rail News

11.06.12

Pointing the finger

Who is really to blame for poor performance on the railway? Responsibility can lie with the franchise operator, with Network Rail, “external circumstances” or even passengers themselves, who can sometimes cause delays.

For period 2, Virgin Trains have firmly and publicly blamed Network Rail for the poor quality of infrastructure maintenance on the West Coast Main Line, leading to performance way beneath target.

Yet the operator goes on to highlight the main cause of the issue as hot weather. Surely this fits into the category of external circumstances?

Of course there are always improvements that can be made to mitigate the impact of environmental challenges such as heat, but Network Rail cannot be expected to completely eliminate this risk, or even prioritise such mitigation above other necessary works.

Working in collaboration will help to improve the industry’s reaction to such circumstances, but simply ascribing blame will do little good to those all-important figures.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. Eva Ekeblad

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