Close Close

As lockdown restrictions ease and we start to consider travelling again, the future of cross-Channel operator Eurostar remains uncertain.
Eurostar is seeking financial support from the UK Government, citing higher access charges here as a reason.
The French Government has pledged to provide support for the operator, while £200 million has been provided by one of its shareholders, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure.
Registered in the UK and supporting 3,000 jobs either with the business or in the supply chain, the company is, however, 55% owned by SNCF (French state rail), 40% by CDPQ/Hermes and 5% by SNCB (Belgian state railways).
So: Should the UK Government provide financial assistance to Eurostar?

View the poll

London and South East drives punctuality improvement

Train operators in London and the South East helped to improve national punctuality in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 (Q4, January-March 2018), according to the latest Office of Rail and Road statistics.

The LSE sector figure for the quarter was 86.9%, a rise of 1.7 percentage points (pp) compared with the corresponding three-month period in the previous year, helping overall punctuality for the quarter to rise by 0.1pp to 87.8% of trains arriving on time on a moving annual average basis.

However, Regional and Scotland train operators recorded a 1.6pp drop in punctuality (to 89.7%) compared with Q4 2016-17, while punctuality also fell for long-distance operators (by 2.4pp to 85.3%).

London and South East operators also improved their figure in terms of Cancellations and Significant Lateness (CaSL), with a drop of 0.5pp to 4.2%, although Regional and Scotland sector recorded a 0.6pp increase to 2.9% and long-distance operators recorded a 1pp rise to 5.8%.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) recorded its highest Q4 punctuality figure (81.1%) for four years, while Southeastern marginally improved by 0.1pp to 86.3% - its highest figure in three years.

But Greater Anglia recorded its lowest punctuality (87%) since 2004-05, and South Western Railway its lowest since 2003-04, with a Public Performance Measure (PPM) of 81.4% accredited to the impact of severe weather.

On TfL Rail, punctuality fell by 3.5pp to 92.5%, and CaSL rose by 1.4pp to 3.5%. PPM failures attributed to it rose by 288% in the quarter, mainly due to an increase of 493% in failures attributed to fleet delays.

In the Regional and Scotland sector, Arriva Trains Wales recorded its worst reliability (a CaSL score of 3.0%) since 2006-07, and Northern its lowest punctuality (88.2%) since 2009-10, with increases in PPM failures attributed to both it and Network Rail.

ScotRail also had a poor quarter, with its PPM figure of 88.5% the lowest since 2004-05. West Midland Trains recorded a CaSL figure of 5.1%, although the ORR says this was mainly due to an increase of 306% in CaSL failures attributed to other operators.

Of the long-distance operators, Virgin Trains East Coast recorded its lowest annual punctuality (81.5%) since 2004-05, and sister operator Virgin West Coast its lowest annual reliability of 6.3% since 2008-09.

CrossCountry also reported poor Q4 reliability, with a CaSL level of 6.6%, blamed on a 109% increase in failures caused by poor weather.

Great Western Railway also suffered from poor weather, with its Q4 PPM of 83.9% representing a fall of 6.4pp from the year before. PPM failures attributed to GWR included a 109% increase in fleet delays and a 348% rise in train crew causes.

PPM failures attributed to Network Rail rose by 39% during the quarter, with a 296% increase in PPM failures attributed to severe weather.

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content