Db schenker freight train

Freight performance

Businesses rely on rail to deliver goods at just the right time, so reliable performance and time keeping are an essential part of the service

We work in collaboration with freight operating companies (FOC) to manage and monitor freight train performance and time keeping. Freight train performance management includes:

  • continuous real-time tracking of all trains on the network
  • monitoring and ownership of every delay above two minutes
  • using dedicated systems or apps to provide instant access to train running information.

Keeping these performance-monitoring techniques up-to-date is essential because rail plays such an important part in the logistical supply chain of major retailers, who rely on high-quality delivery and accurate information to meet their customers’ needs.

You can view the latest information on freight trains time keeping in Britain (PDF), or contact Jonathan Drea in our freight performance team.

Investing for improved freight performance

We’re continually investing in the rail network jointly with FOC and successive governments. The network continues to get busier, but we’ve collectively reduced rail freight delays to significantly improve the effectiveness of rail transport in recent years.

Network Rail works in ‘control periods’: five-year timespans during which our investment priorities and infrastructure developments are set out as delivery plans. Our performance against these delivery plans is measured by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

We’re making major improvements to the rail freight network in control period 5 (CP5), which covers the five years from 2014 to 2019.