Trains record most punctual times since summer 2018

Alex Hynes.
Alex Hynes.

The number of trains running on time across Scotland has reached its highest level since June 2018.

New figures for the most recent period of performance (December 8 to January 4) show that 86.7 per cent of trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure (PPM) – up 2.5 per cent on the same period last year.

The improvement is said to be due to investment in infrastructure and new and upgraded trains.

This means that the Moving Annual Average, a key performance target for the Scottish Government, is now 88.5 per cent – the highest it has been for 19 months.

Punctuality has also improved for the third consecutive period, which is said to be due to the hard worked carried out by railway employees to keep trains moving during a traditionally difficult time of year.

Major enhancements were made to the railway across the country during the Christmas and New Year period, with £8 million spent to renew sections of track and junctions, upgrading signalling systems and improving major stations.

A critical part of those improvements is said to have included the major upgrade at Haymarket to improve the reliability of the track – this was a hugely successful piece of work with everyone across Network Rail and ScotRail working round-the-clock to keep customers moving.

The record investment in new and upgraded trains has delivered all 70 of the Class 385 Hitachi electric trains, 10 fully refurbished Inter7City trains and has taken the total number of carriages to 1,016, an increase of 28 per cent since the start of the Abellio ScotRail franchise.

Scotland’s Railway managing director Alex Hynes said: “Everyone across Scotland’s Railway is working tirelessly to give our customers the service they expect and deserve, and it is fantastic to see such an encouraging period of performance during a challenging time of year.

“The unprecedented investment in Scotland’s Railway, including £475 million on new and upgraded trains, is really having a significant impact and we look forward to delivering an increasingly reliable service in the weeks and months ahead.”