New train punctuality measures coming this April

Credit: Andrew Lamport

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From April, train operators in Britain and Network Rail will use new measures of train punctuality as part of a plan to improve performance.

Rail companies will be using ‘to the minute’ train performance data as their primary method of measuring punctuality.

Train companies currently use Public Performance Measure, and considers a train to be ‘on time’ if it reaches its final destination within 5 or 10 minutes for short distance and long-distance services, respectively.

On time measures will record train punctuality to the minute at every stop on its journey.

Rail companies will publish a spread of information about train punctuality: early, within a minute of the timetabled arrival or within three, five, 10 or 15 minutes and after 15, 20 or 30 minutes. d

The introduction of the new measure is part of a co-ordinated programme of work led by the National Task Force, a cross industry group of operations leaders, and the RDG Board of rail industry CEOs, to improve performance across the network now and in the long term. This includes:

  • Using shared best practice to improve performance and analysis of challenges causing poor performance. Teams have also been established to prevent suicides on the network and stop people trespassing on to the railway.
  • Preparing for and improving co-ordinated responses to changes in seasonal weather, including autumn leaf fall, snow and high temperatures. Each train operator and Network Rail route developed plans to improve preparations for Autumn 2018, helping to ensure more trains were able to run between October and mid December – the equivalent of an additional days’ worth of trains ran, approximately 23,000 services, compared to 2017.
  • Supporting the new cross-industry timetabling task force to ensure that the roll out of 6,400 additional services by the early 2020s goes smoothly. As announced earlier this month, in May 2019, over 1,000 extra train services are being introduced across the network and hundreds of rail planners and engineers have been working hard over many months to implement these improvements effectively.

The measures will make Britain’s railway the most transparent for punctuality of any major railway in Europe.

These new measures are already used on the industry-funded My Train Journey website.

What did the officials say?

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry said:

“Every second matters to us and our customers which is why rail companies have together developed and are now using these to-the-minute measures for train punctuality at every station part of our plan to improve the railway today.

“Record investment to upgrade the railway, including the roll out of thousands of new carriages, will continue to help improve journeys over the coming years and in the shorter term, we’re using a more transparent measure of punctuality to help us cut delays and reduce disruption.”

Janet Cooke, CEO of London Travelwatch said:

“This is a welcome change which will help focus the industry on passenger needs and foster a culture of ‘start on time, stay on time, arrive on time’.”

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  1. Why dnt they keep a hand full of the upgraded pacer trains as back up as they never broke down have them in Newton abbot


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