Network Rail to be investigated after poor Northern and TransPennine Express service

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The Office of Rail and Road has published its update on Network Rail’s impact on train service performance and has sent a warning out for its poor service in the North West and Central Region.

ORR has seen that at a national level Network Rail’s contribution to passenger train delay minutes was 58%, down 1.1 percentage points compared with the previous year. However, they are a few variations across the UK.

In the North West and Central region where the train operating companies include Northern and TransPennine Express, Network Rail’s performance in terms of its contribution to delays has remained a concern.

Performance in this region deteriorated in 2018 and failed to recover during 2019. As a result, ORR is investigating the detail of Network Rail’s recently initiated recovery plan. It is also monitoring its impact to test whether Network Rail is doing all it can to improve service for passengers.

ORR has also looked at the cause of the poor performance of TransPennine Express and found it has been the result of train operations.

In the Wales and Western region where Great Western Railway and Transport for Wales operate, Network Rail has delivered its best performance of the last five years.

In Scotland, the ORR is seeing a number of improvements with a 24% reduction in passenger train delay connected to Network Rail. However, it still remains below the targets for both ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper.

What did the officials say?

John Larkinson, Chief Executive, Office of Rail and Road said:

“The top priority for passengers is that their train arrives on time and that isn’t happening consistently enough across the country.

“ORR is responsible for looking at how Network Rail contributes to train delays and while there are areas of very good performance such as in Wales and Western region, Network Rail’s performance in North West and Central region is not good enough. That is why we are putting the company on a warning to make sure its improvement plans deliver for passengers.”

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  1. The Northern Powerhouse is a better option with a new HS3 rail link to link from major cities including Liverpool & Manchester to Leeds, York, Hull and to improve better rail and bus services for rural communities that are far away from the nearest town or city.

    Perhaps Grant Shapps needs a huge discussion with the MDs of Northern and Transpennine Express to get them to act up and to invest more £millions that would allow them to improve and upgrade services that needs a boost. Along with more extra trains in use.


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