London Overground is most punctual under right time measure

The first publication of right time performance (RTP) figures for individual train operators has shown significant variations in companies’ results compared to the standard industry Passenger Performance Measure (PPM).

The RTP figures measure the number of trains arriving within 59 seconds of schedule, compared to PPM standards which measure arrival within five minutes for regional and commuter services and 10 minutes for long distance services. They show that London Overground is the best performing RTP operator with punctuality of 88.4% (see table). c2c, whose industry leading PPM performance has been repeatedly emphasised by parent company National Express as part of its credentials to retain its last remaining franchise, is relegated to fourth in the RTP table.

One of the most significant variations in performance was at Merseyrail where RTP punctuality is 74.8% compared to 95.3% against PPM, despite operating on a relatively simple network. The drop in Merseyrail’s  performance means that Arriva Trains Wales takes over as the  most punctual regional operator against the RTP measure.

In the long distance sector East Midlands remains the most punctual operator. However, the most significant RTP comparison is between Virgin and East Coast. While their PPM performance is similar, East Coast’s RTP is 68% compared to 54% at Virgin.

Across all operators, the largest difference in performance exposed by RTP is at CrossCountry, where PPM is 88% but RTP 49%.

Network Rail said that no other country publishes RTP figures and that the data would be important in helping identify areas for improvement on the network. However, the Association of Train Operating Companies warned that the figures were currently insufficiently accurate for firm conclusions to be drawn due to industry systems not being calibrated to record train performance accurately within a minute of arrival and variation in methods of data collection. ATOC pointed out that an independent audit commissioned by ATOC and Network Rail has shown that the data is currently substandard.


Right time performance, by train operator

RTP = Right Time Performance (percentage of trains arriving early or
within 59 seconds of schedule) over year to December 8, 2012.
PPM = Public Performance Measure over year to December 8, 2012.
Source: Network Rail

Franchise – RTP / PPM

London Overground – 88.4 / 96.8

Arriva Trains Wales – 86.1 / 93.6

Chiltern – 84.7 / 94.6

c2c – 84.3 / 97.3

East Midlands Trains – 76.8 / 93.4

Merseyrail – 74.8 / 95.3

Northern Rail – 74.0 / 91.5

First Capital Connect – 71.7 / 89.8

Greater Anglia – 71.2 / 91.8

First Great Western – 70.6 / 89.9

South West Trains – 68.2 / 91.4

East Coast – 68.0 / 87.0

First Transpennine Express – 67.8 / 93.0

Southeastern – 65.8 / 91.6

London Midland – 65.7 / 88.4

First Scotrail – 59.7 / 92.5

Southern – 56.9 / 89.0

Virgin Trains – 54.1 / 86.0

Crosscountry – 48.8 / 88.0

National – 69.2 / 91.5


This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport. Click here to subscribe.