National Rail told to cut £2bn from costs and improve train times

train Rail bosses have been ordered to slash the costs of running Britain's railways by £2 billion as well as sorting train punctuality. The railways regulator - Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) - told Network Rail that the gap between the best and worst performing routes in Britain were far too wide and that more than nine out of 10 trains must run on time from now on.

Among the worst performers are First Capital Connect and First Great Western who, naturally, are run by the beleaguered First Group.

If targets are continually missed, Network Rail will be hit with fines of £75 million this year.

ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “The industry must continue to improve its efficiency to reduce its dependence on public subsidy. Passengers will benefit from increases in capacity through a major programme of enhancements and improvements in punctuality, tackling in particular the worst-performing lines.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus said: "Passengers will judge it when the trains turn up on time."

"In England and Wales we've had years of above-inflation fare rises that have led to money being poured into the rail industry. In return for that passengers expect the basics of a good service."


  • Marky M.
    "nine out of 10 trains must run on time from now on". Not true. It's only a target that "has" to happen by 2019. If Network Rail doesn't achieve that target, ORR (in the unlikely event of them still being around) will tut and do nothing.
  • shiftynifty
    Never to the weather....trains is another moaner
  • Dick
    Got more chance of Gary glitter being reformed than train services getting better
  • Mr M.
    On time has a completely different meaning for rail companies, there allowed to be a certain amount late yet still be classed as on time.
  • Noghar
    "The gap between the best and worst performing routes in Britain were far too wide..." Bad grammar aside, I never trust agencies who measure the gap between worst and best as a yardstick for improvement. It makes it too tempting for the numpties in government to move the goalposts so the best performers are allowed to get worse, thus narrowing the 'gap'.
  • Sicknote
    As tax payers we own National Rail and here we are as the Govt starts whacking it with a stick; it's perverse how the balance of the train network is weighted against the tax payer. 1. Tax payers own Rail Track which is a not for profit tax payer owned company who inherited a network in decay after years of Govt mis-managment on both sides of the house I must add. 2. Train operating companies are given subsidies worth billions every year. 3. If a train is late by more than 60 seconds because of Rail Track they have to give more tax payers money to the train operating companies; whereas you need a train to be about an hour late to get some money as a train user It's a barmy merry-go-round exercise in taking money from the tax payer at every step.
  • Trainman
    Lets clear a few things up...Railtrack has not existed for some years, it is now Network Rail, Commuter trains have to arrive under 5 mins late and long distance under 10 to be classed as right time, have a look at how late airlines can be before they class you as late. Furthermore, Virgin are taking Network Rail to court who may fine Network Rail (so the goverment in effect fines itself) all this means is there is less money in the pot for maintenence so performance can only worsen. Finally Virgins attempt to discredit NR is a thiny veiled attempt to detract from their own operational performance so when the franchise farce begins all over again, Virgin can blame someone else for the problems and win the refranchise.
  • MartinRH
    @Sicknote: "...years of Govt mis-managment on BOTH SIDES of the house I must add." [my BOLDing] Gawd bless you my son... I was beginning to think that I was the only person on this planet who realises that Left v Right, Labour v ToryDem, Anything v Anythingelse is just a smoke screen put up by the Government of the day... to make us believe the silly idea that we have a "choice" in how and by who we mere humans are "mismanaged". Give my regards to Bayleaf!

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