Network Rail and train companies have released more detailed information than ever before about train punctuality, showing passengers the number of services that arrive within a minute of their scheduled arrival time.
The publication of this ‘right-time’ data is the latest step by the industry to be more open and to make more information available to the public.
During the last 10 years, the railway has delivered a 50% improvement in the numbers of trains arriving early or up to 59 seconds after their timetabled arrival. In 2001/2, 46.9% of trains arrived within a minute; in 2011/12 that had jumped to 69.8%.
Taking into account the large rise in services during the past decade, this represents an 80% increase in ‘right-time’ arrivals – more than five million in 2011/12 compared to 2.78 million in 2001/2.
This level of detail is a first for any transport industry in the UK or Europe. The rail industry is now looking at how much more detail it can release with the ambition of providing current and historical data on the performance of individual services on the National Rail Enquiries website.
Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director, network operations, said: “We are committed to improving punctuality as far as possible but as the numbers of passengers and trains continues to increase, it becomes ever more difficult to do. We will be open and honest with the public about our performance and the capacity constraints we’re working under, identifying the investment needed to tackle these constraints and continue to grow and develop the railway into a service of which the British people can be proud.”
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: “Rail passengers now have more information about punctuality in this country than on the continent and more than travellers who fly or drive within Great Britain. These figures show that through the commitment of the thousands of people who work in the railway, many more trains than a decade ago are arriving early or within one minute of the timetable. And our goal is to get better still.”
The railway is booming, with more passenger journeys than at any time since the 1920s, historically high levels of safety, performance and satisfaction, and more than one million more trains running per year than a decade ago. Train companies, Network Rail and other rail organisations are working together to take out billions of pounds in the cost of running the network, thus enabling continuing investment in better performance and more seats for passengers.