UK: The Rail Delivery Group has announced that passenger operators and Network Rail will publish new measures of train punctuality from the beginning of April, as part of an ongoing plan to improve performance and reduce delays.
The approach will see services measured to the minute at all stops, replacing the current Public Performance Measure which reports arrivals at a train’s destination within 5 min of the advertised time for short-distance services or 10 min for long-distance services.
Passengers will be able to see performance information for specific journeys on the industry-funded My Train Journey website, with network-wide data available on RDG’s website.
Operators will publish a spread of information about punctuality: early, within a 1 min, 3, 4, 10 or 15 min of the scheduled time and after 15, 20 or 30 min. The proportion of trains cancelled will also be shown.
‘The measures are the most transparent of all major railways in Europe, and are part of the industry’s wider programme of work to improve performance and increase customer satisfaction’, said RDG, adding that the measures would better match the real experience of passengers and also enable operators to understand and address root causes of delays.
The change has not been universally welcomed, with one long distance operator telling Railway Gazette International that focusing on an absolute right time arrival on a journey of more than 450 km may require disproportionate levels of work when a passenger may be happy with an arrival within 10 min of the advertised time.
Operators also warn that passengers may see a train depart rather than being held for them to board as companies will be encouraging staff to ensure right-time starts at every station. Services which may face a late departure from a station of origin due to a late inbound service could also be cancelled to ensure they do not cause any reactionary delays to other trains.