Major Investment to improve West Coast Rail Performance

Published 24 June 2013

 
 

To access National Train Performance for period 3, click photo or just scroll down

 

 
 

Network Rail have revealed details of a series of projects, worth nearly £40m,

aimed at improving the reliability of the infrastructure and punctuality

of train services on Britain's busiest mixed-use railway line.

 

The projects, many of which are already underway, have been specifically targeted

to improve performance on the West Coast Main Line

 

and range from overhead line improvements to new security fencing

to reduce delays caused by trespass and vandalism.

 

 

Dyan Crowther, route managing director, Network Rail said:

 

“We are not satisfied with the current performance of our infrastructure on the southern end of the West Coast main line,

which is one of Britain's most vital rail arteries.

 

“This line has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years,

and, just like a busy motorway during rush hour, more trains mean that if something goes wrong,

the knock on effects can be significant.

 

“We have identified almost £40m worth of investment aimed at improving performance

by targeting some of the most common causes of delay.

 

Some of the measures will be delivered in a few short months while others are more long-term.”

 
 

 

The projects being delivered this year include:

 

Overhead line improvements: A specialist team of engineers has walked the entire route between London and Rugby

and recommended a series of improvements to improve the reliability of the infrastructure

that are being delivered over and above regular maintenance and inspection activity.

 

To complement this work, Network Rail is changing the way it stores and analyses overhead line condition data

which is captured by two specially adapted Pendolino trains.

This change will enable the data to be analysed and essential maintenance work to be completed much more quickly.

 

 

Improved security:

 

Around £10m will be invested to construct more than 11 miles of new fencing along the railway

between London and Rugby at key locations, reducing the risk of incursions from people or livestock onto the track.

 

Network Rail is also working with London Midland and Samaritans to put in place suicide prevention measures

at London Midland stations between Watford and Milton Keynes.

 

Further north, a major project over 18 miles of railway near Wigan

will see new junctions and track installed over nine days in July.

 

In the longer term, similar infrastructure improvements in the Watford area

will be getting underway in 2014.

 

 

Chris Gibb, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Trains added:

 

“I am pleased that Network Rail has decided to progress all the recommendations

and make a £40m investment to improve performance on the southern end of West Coast Main Line for our customers.

 

Already we are starting to see that investment actually taking place but both Network Rail and the train operators

need to keep the pressure on to ensure that lasting improvements in performance are achieved.”

 

 
 

The West Coast Main Line runs for 399 miles between London and Glasgow

and connects many of Britain's key cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

 

Information about current levels of performance on the West Coast Main Line (WCML)

in comparison to other long distance routes is available at: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

 

Around 70% of delays to Virgin services are attributable to Network Rail – around 35% of which are down to infrastructure faults

and around 25% to external factors such as cable theft, fatalities, trespass, vandalism and extreme weather.

The remaining 10% are caused by operational issues.

 

 

In November 2012, following a six-month secondment to Network Rail, Chris Gibb, Gibb, Chief Operating Officer, Virgin Trains,

published his recommendations for how Network Rail could improve the West Coast Main Line.

 

Chris spent time with maintenance crews, mostly at night, and the recommendations were largely the ideas he heard from these experienced staff.

Network Rail accepted Chris' recommendations in full.

 

Network Rail's London North Western route, which is responsible for operating, maintaining and upgrading the West Coast Main Line,

has been focusing on meeting those recommendations, meeting with train and freight operating partners regularly to keep them updated.

 

Media Relations (North West & West Midlands)

Telephone 0161 880 3142

 

 

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National Train Performance for period 3 is 93.1%

Published 28 Jun 2013

xXXX
 
 
 

Punctuality on the railways reached 93.1% during Period 3,

according to monthly performance data released by Network Rail,

the joint best period 3 recorded.

 

The data for Britain's train services covers the period from 26 May 2013 - 22 June 2013.

This compares to 92.9% for the same period last year. The moving annual average is now at 91.0%.

 

 
 
 

 

Franchise

Punctuality %
Period 3

2013/14

Punctuality %
Period 3

2012/13

 

Moving annual
average (MAA)

 
 

Arriva Trains Wales

95.0

95.3

93.5

 
 

c2c Rail

97.8

97.9

97.3

 
 

Chiltern

95.1

94.6

95.2

 
 

Crosscountry

91.1

89.7

87.3

 
 

East Coast

87.8

90.5

83.9

 
 

East Midlands Trains

93.3

94.0

92.5

 
 

First Capital Connect

91.3

89.9

88.6

 
 

First Great Western

92.1

92.2

89.1

 
 

First ScotRail

90.9

94.2

92.6

 
 

First Transpennine Express

92.4

92.6

91.9

 
 

Greater Anglia

94.5

93.2

92.7

 
 

London Midland

88.5

91.0

85.6

 
 

London Overground

97.1

94.1

96.8

 
 

Merseyrail

96.6

98.3

95.6

 
 

Northern Rail

92.9

93.3

90.6

 
 

Southeastern

94.8

92.7

91.3

 
 

Southern

93.1

90.9

88.1

 
 

South West Trains

94.3

93.2

91.8

 
 

Virgin Trains *

84.5

88.8

83.4

 
 

Total

93.1

92.9

91.0

 
 
 

* 71% of delays to Virgin services were attributable to Network Rail during the period

with just over half of these down to infrastructure problems

such as overhead line and track faults.

 

The remainder were caused by external factors, such as fatalities, operational management,

delays caused by other TOCs and just 12.3% by Virgin trains themselves.

 

Network Rail would like to apologise to all its customers and passengers

for the unacceptable performance on the southern end of the West Coast Main Line.

 

As a result, Virgin has lodged a claim for additional compensation

under the ‘sustained poor performance' clause in its track access agreement.

 

 
 

To help tackle the performance issue the company has embarked upon a £40m investment programme

unveiling six work-streams aimed at improving train punctuality on this vital piece of railway infrastructure.

 

Nationally around 60% of delays to train services are attributed to Network Rail.

 

As well as infrastructure faults, these also include external factors

such as weather, trespass and vandalism, cable theft etc,

which make-up about 20% of all delays, and therefore around a third of the delays

attributed to Network Rail

 

Arrived on time - the measure of train punctuality also known as PPM (Public Performance Measure)

means trains arriving at their destinations within five minutes for commuter services

and within 10 minutes for long distance services.

 

This measure of punctuality is commonly used throughout Europe.

 

National train punctuality is measured for all trains across the whole network,

including cancelled services and delays caused by external factors (such as vandalism, extreme weather, suicides etc).

 

Punctuality did not start to be recorded in this vigorous and thorough way until 1997.

Before then Railtrack, and BR before, did not measure all services and also excluded external factors and other items from their numbers

 

These figures represent provisional data for the period and individual operators' performance data may vary slightly

from the full period performance report that Network Rail publishes on its website every month.

 

Network Rail and the train operators run more trains across Great Britain than are run in most European countries

- almost 20% more than in France and 60% more than in Italy.

 

Great Britain's 24,000 trains per-day is also more than

Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Norway combined.

Media Relations (National)

Telephone 020 3356 8700

Email

mediarelations@networkrail.co.uk

 

 

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