The entrance to the new Manchester Rail Operating Centre (ROC).(Network Rail Image)
Train service punctuality is improving for customers in the North, thanks to an ongoing team effort by the rail industry to fix the timetable problems which happened in May this year.
In the week following the timetable change on 21 May, Northern services were on average 67% punctual. In the fortnight to 11 September, Northern services were on average 87% punctual.
TransPennine Express (TPE) services were averaging 70% punctuality on 21 May and now they are approaching 80%.
Today TPE, Northern and Network Rail, while pleased with the progress, agreed there was still much more to do to ensure train customers get the consistent, reliable service they deserve.
Anna-Jane Hunter, rail director for the North at Network Rail, said:
“We are making progress. That’s good. But we have more to do. We are not where we need to be yet. As an industry team, we are 100% committed to improving services for customers.”
Liam Sumpter, regional director of Northern, said:
“By working together around the clock and making the right changes, we’re systematically improving punctuality. Our top priority in the coming weeks is to keep improving punctuality for our customers.”
Paul Watson, operations director for TPE, said:
“Although things are improving, we know there’s still more that needs to be done. The railway is like a complex jigsaw, but we are confident that working together, we will bring about changes to improve our customers’ experience.”
The Manchester Rail Operating Centre (ROC) which accommodates 200 staff from Network Rail, TransPennine Express and Northern, controls the railway services across the North.
Advanced signalling tools and technology help reduce delays, improve performance, increase capacity and provide better information to passengers. Having track and train colleagues in the same room enables the joint team to react to unforeseen disruption more quickly and efficiently. This helps minimise disruption and ensures customers benefit from faster and real-time information.
This state-of-the-art facility was built in 2015 and is one of two in the North of England. The other is in York. There are 12 ROCs nationally.