Dutch-run ScotRail says 89.1% of trains now punctual

ScotRail said new figures show a surge in punctuality on Scotland’s Railway, with 36,200 more trains arriving on time since April 1, 2019, compared with the same period last year.

The ScotRail franchise is operated by Abellio, which is based in Utrecht and is part of the Dutch state-owned Nederlandse Spoorwegen group.

Under Abellio, ScotRail says it has invested £475 million in new and upgraded trains, with the brand-new class 385 electric trains performing well ahead of target for reliability.

“Across Scotland, 89.1 per cent of ScotRail trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure (PPM) in the period 15 September to 12 October 2019 – a 7.2 percentage point increase from the same period in 2018,” said ScotRail.

“This means the moving annual average – the rolling performance over the previous 12 months – stands at 88 per cent, an increase of 0.6% compared with the same period the previous year.

“The surge in punctuality is the single biggest year-on-year increase since August 2015.

“PPM is the UK-wide standard on which ScotRail is held to account by Transport Scotland, where trains must arrive at their destination within 4 minutes and 59 seconds of their timetabled arrival time, having called at all scheduled stations.

“Better preparation for the effects of autumn weather has contributed to the boost in performance.”

ScotRail said Network Rail dispatched ‘leaf buster’ trains to treat 20,000 more miles of track than in 2018 and ground-breaking microwave and cryogenic technologies have been used for the very first time in Scotland to keep railheads clean, and rapid response crews have been based at key points across the network to react quicker to incidents.

Tracks were also treated earlier this year than in the past.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “It is great to see the hard work and dedication of our people paying off.

“Customers have benefited from an extra 36,000 trains arriving on time since the start of the year compared to the same period last year, and that’s no fluke.

“We’ve been more prepared than ever before this autumn, and everyone across Scotland’s Railway is continuing to work hard to deliver the consistent level of performance our customers expect and deserve.”