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After over two years at the bottom, GTR no longer worst-performing TOC

After over two years of coming at the bottom of performance tables for operator punctuality, especially since its absorption of the entire TSGN franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is finally in the clear.

In the public performance measure (PPM) figures for the first period this financial year (1 April – 29 April), Network Rail revealed that GTR is no longer the worst-performing operator in the country, a label that has been attributed to the TOC since late 2014 due to wide-ranging factors – from engineering works at London Bridge to a string of strike action over the past year.

For period 1, it has recorded a PPM of 85%, a marginal increase from its performance this time last year (83.9%) and a far cry from its usual performance of below 80% – which the ORR believes accounted for 86% of the decline in the nationwide PPM, and which has also been blamed for its parent company’s whopping 35% half-year profit dip.

Below GTR in the first period of 2017-18 were First Hull Trains (at 84.3%) and Caledonian Sleeper (at 79.3%).

The former marks a significant drop of almost seven percentage points compared to its performance figure of 90.9% in period 1 last year, whilst Caledonian’s PPM represents an even sharper plunge of almost 14 percentage points from 93.2%. It is also the only operator with a PPM figure below 80%.

Nationally, the overall performance figure stood at 91.9%, a marginal rise from the PPM of 91.3% this time last year.

Amongst the top-performing operators was, as usual, c2c, with a PPM of 94.3%. But it was another TOC which stole the show this period: coming at the top of the performance chart was Merseyrail, with a whopping performance of 98.2% after just 0.6% of its services experienced cancellations or significant lateness (CaSL) of 30 minutes or more last month.

Although this was the lowest CaSL figure amongst operators, other commendable performances included Chiltern (1.4%), TfL Rail (1.5%), and East Midlands Trains, Heathrow Express, Northern and Southeastern, all of which recorded a figure of 1.6%.

Virgin Trains East Coast, on the other hand, saw 7% of its services suffer significant delays or cancellations, marking the worst CaSL figure across the board – followed by Grand Central, at 6.3%.

(Top image c. Andrew Matthews)


Huguenot   09/05/2017 at 11:53

What is wrong with Hull Trains that they have this poor PPM? They have a single route and they only have a handful of diesel units. What could be simpler? What corners are they cutting?

Kth   09/05/2017 at 12:05

There is a common cause problem here for Hull Trains, VTEC and Grand Central - The East Coast Mainline.

Samir Kahn   09/05/2017 at 14:04

well performing companies have whole percentage point of failure. In many countries, the best UK service would be judged a disaster. Don't praise mediocrity

Andrew Gwilt   10/05/2017 at 01:59

Not forgotten Greater Anglia as they still are the worst train operator with so many delays on a daily basis. No matter if it's a faulty train is causing delays to services to & from London Liverpool Street which caused other services to be delayed as a result of a broken down train or signalling problems or problems with the 25kv overhead wires or even trespassing which trespassing is the main problem on the railways across the East of England and even elsewhere kn the railways in the UK.

David   10/05/2017 at 11:17

Andrew, where is Greater Anglia listed in this article? It states that Caledonian Sleeper and Hull Trains were the worst performing TOCs. As railways are being stretched beyond capacity, failures and delays are only going to get worse.

Roger, Sheffield   10/05/2017 at 12:04

The problem with Hull trains is partly the trains they've got. They didn't realize what dogs 180s where until too late. As a Hull Trains regular, our last trip involved watching the 180 for the 17:10 disappear to Botanical Gardens for attention & waiting for it coming back. You'll also see that two more of the "fallers" (VTEC & Grand Central) are East Coast Mainline operators - serious problems there!

Paul   10/05/2017 at 22:12

The reason for Hull Trains appearing is the tiny number of services that they operate. One cancelled return trip represents a loss of 20% or so of the daily service.

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