GWR IETs at Swindon

UK: Performance at First Rail’s four management fee-based train operating companies is in line with expectations for the second half of the financial year, while open access operators Hull Trains and Lumo are marginally ahead of expectations, FirstGroup said in a trading update on February 25.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that performance at Avanti West Coast and Great Western Railway was slightly above the targets for the first six months of FY22, with TransPennine Express and South Western Railway in line with the annual targets under their National Rail Contracts.

The four TOCs had temporarily moved to reduced timetables following agreement with the DfT, in order to manage reliability during staff shortages caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Open access operations Hull Trains and Lumo are both ‘marginally ahead’ of  FirstGroup’s expectations

Open access operations Hull Trains and Lumo, the only segment of the First Rail division where FirstGroup bears passenger revenue risk, are both ‘marginally ahead’ of the group’s expectations, supported by resilient leisure travel demand.

‘We are pleased that passengers are returning to travel again following the easing of the omicron-related restrictions put in place in December’, said FirstGroup Executive Chairman David Martin. ’It demonstrates our conviction that there is significant latent demand for travel on our services and we look forward to providing vital connections for our customers as the recovery continues to build.

‘Public transport has a key role to play in the UK’s economic, decarbonisation and levelling up agendas and I remain confident that FirstGroup is very well placed to capture our many opportunities to create long term, sustainable value.’