Elizabeth line has lost its crown as the Uk most punctual railway.

Elizabeth line has lost its crown as the Uk most punctual railway.

Train Punctuality in the UK Declines, Elizabeth Line Affected

Declining Punctuality Figures

Recent data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) indicates a decline in train punctuality in the UK. Between April and June, only 82.5 percent of trains arrived on time, marking a decrease of 5.6 percentage points compared to the first three months of the year. As a result, the Elizabeth line, previously leading the national train punctuality rankings, slipped to second place.

Issues on the Elizabeth Line

The decline in punctuality on the Elizabeth line reflects ongoing signaling and reliability problems, particularly on the western section of the 73-mile line. These issues have arisen following the introduction of “through running” of trains across the entire line and an increase in peak frequencies to 24 trains per hour.

High Cancellation Rates

In related ORR data from the previous week, the Elizabeth line had the highest cancellation rate in the country, with 9.1 percent of its services canceled. The Elizabeth line is the busiest train line in the UK, carrying over 700,000 passengers daily during peak times.

Greater Anglia Tops Punctuality

Among train operators, Greater Anglia recorded the highest punctuality rate, with 87.7 percent of trains arriving on time. However, London Overground saw a decline in punctuality to 75.6 percent, down 3.5 percentage points.

Improvements by Few Train Firms

Only three train companies managed to improve their performance in this period: Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, and West Midlands Trains. Conversely, GoVia Thameslink Railway, the UK’s largest rail franchise operating Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, and the Gatwick Express, saw its punctuality drop by 6.1 percentage points to 62.7 percent.

Factors Affecting Punctuality

The ORR report highlighted the substantial annual increase in the number of Elizabeth line trains, up by 38.5 percent compared to the previous year. This had to be considered when assessing punctuality. The line officially opened through central London in May of the previous year but had operated as TfL Rail from Paddington and Liverpool Street before that.

Overall Punctuality Trends

Across the entire railway network, punctuality declined compared to the same period the previous year, with 70.7 percent of trains arriving “on time,” a drop of 1.9 percentage points. However, the number of planned trains increased by five percent to 1.8 million, though this figure remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Public Performance Measure (PPM)

The PPM punctuality figure also declined by two points to 87.6 percent. This measure assesses the number of trains that arrive at their final destination within five or 15 minutes of the scheduled time, depending on the service.

Disruptions and Strikes

During the April to June period, there were five strikes, three by Aslef and two by the RMT, which was fewer than in previous periods. This contributed to an increase in the number of available trains. Additionally, five “severely disrupted days” led to widespread cancellations or delays, including incidents such as a power failure at Waterloo and a track obstruction at Farringdon.

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