New figures point to smooth introduction of 1,000 extra services

New figures reveal punctuality was unaffected by the implementation of the 2019 Summer timetable.

  • In the first week of the new timetable 86.5% of services arrived within 3mins of their scheduled time.
  • The new timetable introduced 1,000 extra services per week across the country improving journeys for rail customers.
  • The new timetable made over 40,000 alterations allowing for extra stops and longer trains
  • Working together train companies and Network Rail ensured that the timetable change did not lead to significant disruption by strengthening the timetabling process and taking precautionary measures.

New figures released today by the rail industry show that last week’s summer timetable change, which saw 1,000 extra services added, was implemented without impacting punctuality.

In the week following the timetable change, 86.5% of trains arrived within three minutes of their scheduled time with PPM* at 89%. While efforts are being made to improve these figures, they compare favourably with an average across last year of 83% of services arriving within 3 minutes of their scheduled time and an annual PPM average of 86%.

The new services will see journeys improve with more frequent and more comfortable services. Over the past two years train companies have introduced over 4,000 additional services meaning that significant progress has been made towards the industry’s 2017 pledge of delivering an additional 6,400 services each week by the early 2020s.

On top of over 2,000 additional services added since 2017, the North of England is benefitting from the new timetable with better links to and from Carlisle, new direct services between Chester and Leeds and more direct services between Cumbria and Manchester Airport. In Scotland, the new timetable means faster journeys between the country’s main cities and in the South West, there will be extra weekday services between Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, plus more services between Exeter and Bristol.

Around the capital, the new timetable means more frequent peak time services into Waterloo, four new Norwich-in-90 services and the number of Thameslink services travelling through the centre of London each way during peak times is now up to one every three minutes.

Introducing 1,000 extra services, additional stops and longer trains onto one of Europe’s busiest railways posed a significant challenge. It required over 40,000 alterations to the timetable and months of work for hundreds of rail workers. Working together train companies and Network Rail implemented lessons learned from previous years to ensure that these changes did not affect reliability and took precautionary measures so that any issues that arose could be quickly resolved.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said:

“Introducing 1,000 new services a week onto one of Europe's busiest railways was a huge challenge. The fact it was accomplished with minimal disruption is testament to the hundreds of rail workers who made it happen. This new timetable is a small but important step in our big plan to deliver thousands of additional services and improved carriages over the coming years to make journeys better and ensure the railway is fit for the future.”

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