£10m fund to improve passenger journeys

A £10m booster fund has been announced by Network Rail’s Anglia route as part of its commitment to improve punctuality for passengers.

This is part of the Every Second Counts campaign to address poor performance head on by identifying the most common causes of why trains are delayed and focusing on finding solutions.

The campaign identified eight of the most common causes that delay trains such as signal and track failures, trespass events as well as the time it takes to respond to incidents.

Over the past three months, additional efforts have focused on making improvements and so far, £4.4m has been allocated to projects with a further £5.6m planned to be spent this year.

Staff were invited to submit suggestions on how we could improve our performance if additional funding were available.  Some of the suggestions that will be funded include:

  • infrastructure improvements such as upgrading the switches and crossings at the Coppermill junction interchange near Tottenham that will make the train service more reliable with fewer speed restrictions;
  • making the rails more resilient in hot weather to reduce the number of temporary speed restrictions;
  • accelerating the repair of the track where it is built on clay embankments which dry out and shrink during the summer which could cause land slippages and delay or cancel services;
  • measures to reduce crime such as making it harder for people to trespass on the railway by improving fences and railings; and
  • investing in two additional dedicated British Transport Police officers to provide a 24-hour service so they can quickly respond to incidents and to identify those who might be at risk of suicide. There will also be additional Land Sheriffs at stations.

Steve Hooker, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for the Anglia route said: “We know the frustration passengers feel when a train is delayed. Every Second Counts is about what we can do to make rail travel better because we know that delays can mean less time spent with loved ones and people being late for work or appointments.

“Engineers on the ground know the railway best, so staff were asked what would make the difference if extra money was available. Our team orange has come up with some great ideas  and while it’s still early days, the signs are good with performance improving.

He added: “We’re working hard to improve the railway for everyone on the Anglia route by investing £2.2bn over the next five years.”

Meanwhile, the latest figures show that almost 93% of trains ran on time across the whole Anglia route during the past 12 weeks – the highest it has been for almost a year.

The latest figures show that punctuality was 93%, 92.5% and 92.9% respectively, which makes an average of 92.8%.

This means a greater percentage of Greater Anglia, c2c, London Overground, TfL and GTR trains ran on time, and there were fewer track and signal failures.