Rail service improvements and disruptions


Trains still running late despite emergency timetables in operation

Trains are continuing to run late despite TOCs running timetables on ‘emergency’ fixtures, new figures show.

Data released by Network Rail’s public performance measure (PPM) shows the percentage of trains which arrive at their terminating station within five minutes (for London and regional services) and 10 minutes for long distance services. Last year the national PPM was 89% but has dropped this year to 85.8%.

Rail firms Transpennine Express, First Hull Trains, and Northern trains suffered the sharpest decline in PPM compared to last year.

Northern Rail, who’s reputation has been marred after a tumultuous implementation of new timetables on 20 May, suffered a 14% decline in PPM score, with almost a quarter of trains operated by the Northern running at least five minutes late between 27 May and 23 June.

Transpennine Express suffered the largest fall in trains running on time, where last year’s strong number of 91.1% of trains operating smoothly has now plummeted to 71% – now one in five more services are running late on Transpennine Express compared to Period 3 in 2017/18.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), following its chief executive resigning last month citing “frustrations” from passengers who experienced delays, cancellations, and confusion on the GTR’s services over the past two months, only suffered a 3% decrease in PPM compared to last year — finishing this year with 79.1%. However, this is still far below the 89% average reached last year.

Merseyrail was the top performer, with a massive 97.6% of services running on time — an increase of 2% from last year.

Transport for London achieved the largest increase in lines running on time, up 3.4% compared to last year, with 93.5% of services reaching its destination on time.

Yesterday, reports surfaced that GTR was at risk of losing its franchise if it fails to improve its slumping performance across its services since May’s timetable changes. An inquiry into the disruptions was ordered by Chris Grayling at the start of June.

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