Network Rail apologises for poor punctuality

Network Rail, the company responsible for maintaining the UK’s railway track and major stations, has apologised for poor punctuality, according to a report by the Telegraph.

The apology comes after reports said that one in six trains were running late, with 45,000 trains failing to arrive on time last month. ‘Network Rail would like to apologise to East Coast’s customers for the disruption caused by these infrastructure failures and the company is redoubling its efforts to improve the reliability of this critical piece of railway infrastructure,’ the company said, with reference to the delays on the East Coast main line from King’s Cross to north east England and Scotland.

The company acknowledged that it was responsible for 70 percent of the delays suffered, when more than 16 percent of trains were over 10 minutes late, the limit set for long distance services. The delays were primarily due to overhead wire failures along with trespass and vandalism, it said.

The overall figures for the network showed that punctuality for the four weeks between August 18 and September 14 was 1.7 percent worse than for the same period last year, equivalent to an additional 10,000 trains running late.

Specific problems on the Southern Line, the line linking London with Sussex and suburbs to the south of the capital, were blamed on three deaths on the line that had led to 23,000 ‘delay minutes’ last month. According to Southern, the deaths accounted for 4,310 delayed trains, with the remainder largely due to deferred engineering works at London Bridge.

The latest figures have been issued at a time when Network Rail has been warned by the industry regulator over its poor maintenance of the country’s track infrastructure. Earlier this month the company was warned that it faced the threat of a fine if performance was not adequately improved.