Latest Rail News


National rail performance crashes below 90% in period 7

National performance in period 7 has crashed after improving steadily over the past two months, with the PPM figure slumping to 89.9%.

The Network Rail published figure, which covers operator performance for 20 September to 17 October, is down from the 91.2% recorded during the previous period.

The figure is also marginally below last year’s PPM figure during the same period, which stood at 90.1%.

Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR’s) performance slumped, dipping to 82.9% after beginning to recover in the last period. Similarly to period 5, it was again the worst-performing operator, with a PPM figure only below that of period 4 – during which its performance was down at 82.5%.

This was considerably driven by its sub-operator, Gatwick Express – the only route with a performance below 80%.

Its other sub-operators – Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink – also had performance figures below 90%, with Southern slumping to 83% in both its main line and metro routes. This negates signs in period 6 that the franchise was starting to recuperate after taking in Southern, Gatwick Express and some Southeastern services in late July, when it became the largest single UK franchise.

This is also the first time the performance of Great Western Railway (GWR), the new branding for First Great Western, was recorded: the figure recording started on the same day as the operator launched its revamped brand featuring upgraded timetables and fleet livery to drive improvement.

But it may have been a slow start for GWR as it recorded a PPM figure of 88.7% in period 7 – marginally above last year’s performance, but below the 90.1% recorded in period 6 before its rebranding.

430 ppmClick on the image to enlarge it.

On the other end of the scale, Chiltern Railways almost bagged c2c’s longstanding position as the best-performing operator, with a figure just 0.5 percentage points behind at 96.3%. This is also owed to the fact that c2c’s performance was noticeable down on the previous period’s 98.5%, and was also below its performance of 97% in period 7 last year.

Merseyrail and TfL Rail were right behind at 96% and 95.2% respectively – although this was slightly lower than TfL’s performance in period 6.

Meanwhile, Northern Rail, ScotRail and Southeastern maintained a steady performance compared to the same period last year, with figures only very marginally above or below 2014. The two first operators also recorded less cancellations and lateness compared to last year, but ScotRail’s delay figure could not be measured because it was taken over from First ScotRail in April 2015.

And once again, Virgin Trains East Coast recorded the highest amount (6.6%) of cancellations and lateness, even above that of the previous period (5.6%). First Hull Trains followed right behind it at 6.1%, considerably worse than last period’s 4.7% – although this is an improvement from its performance in period 5, during which it recorded a particularly negative cancellation figure of 8.6%.

These cancellations are recorded if a train is cancelled at origin or en route, if its originating station is changed, if it fails to make a scheduled stop or if it is more than 30 minutes late.

These delays are usually mostly attributable to Network Rail, which was once again responsible for 58% of train delays of three minutes or more due to infrastructure, operations or external issues.


Michael   27/10/2015 at 10:43

I'm not surprised the GSTN performance is so low. This is not just down to Gatwick Express. The cancellations on Thameslink continue apace, announced (sometimes at short notice) as "member of train crew [i.e. driver] unavailable". It's not as though they have introduced a new timetable with additional services. Perhaps GSTN would publish their plans for improvement so that we can all monitor their progress (or lack of it).

Lutz   27/10/2015 at 22:23

Predictable. All the more reason for negative bonuses across the industry.

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >