How does weather impact the performance railway?

The main impacts of weather on the railway are: costs, poor performance (measured by Public Performance Measure (PPM)), and safety risks.

Over the past decade adverse weather conditions resulted in an average 2-3% reduction in PPM achievement across the railway network. The impacts of extreme weather can be more significant, with large variations from year to year.

Download how weather affects PPM data (xlsx)

Weather impacts cost us £50-£100m per year due to delays and cancellations. If the wider costs to the railway and the economy are included (for example missed targets, repairs and socio-economic impacts) this rises to £200–£300m a year.

From a safety perspective, fortunately, we have not had any serious accidents caused by the impacts of weather events in recent years. However, the landslip at Watford in September 2016 and bridge scour at Lamington in December 2015 are reminders of the potential for serious consequences and we are working hard to manage this risk.

The figure below shows the delays associated with weather-related incidents across the network between April 2006 and March 2019.

Download delays associated with weather-related incidents data (xlsx)

Find out more about how we manage weather impacts:

Responding to weather impacts on the railway

Climate change Adaptation

Seasonal track treatment and weather support machines

Delays explained

How we're working sustainably