Dedicated staff keep Scotland’s Railway on track

Friday, 23 August 2019

Despite extreme temperatures and severe rainfall during the most recent four-week period of performance, almost nine out of ten trains ran on time as everyone across Scotland’s Railway showed their commitment to keeping Scotland moving.

Across Scotland, 88 per cent of ScotRail trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure (PPM), arriving at their destination within 4 minutes and 59 seconds of their timetabled arrival time, having called at all scheduled stations.

With training for drivers and conductors now well on track, and more trains running than ever before, this was the best period for traincrew related cancellations since the December timetable change, and the moving annual average (MAA) – the average performance for the year – is now 87.6 per cent.

The four-week period was dominated by weather-related disruption, including flooding at Winchburgh Tunnel, which closed the main Edinburgh to Glasgow line, and contributed to a 1.6 per cent reduction to the PPM figure.

More than 60 per cent of the average August rainfall fell in a three-hour period, and engineers at the site worked with colleagues across Scotland’s Railway, and Scottish Fire and Rescue, to reduce the water levels and ensure the track was safe for services to return.

The severe rainfall also had a huge impact on the West Highland Line with thousands of tonnes of material falling away from beneath the track, and several landslips, which were also caused by the torrential rain.

Network Rail Scotland engineers worked tirelessly, day and night, carrying out geotechnical and aerial surveys to fully assess the damage, before replacing the washed away material and repairing the track damage.

Despite services being heavily disrupted, customers were kept moving as replacement buses were secured in affected areas, and proactive communication kept them informed with regular updates and important information about their journeys.

The £475 million Abellio investment in new and upgraded trains, and the unprecedented Network Rail Scotland investment in infrastructure, is helping to deliver more than 2,400 trains every weekday, as Scotland’s Railway continues to grow.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, said:

“This latest period of performance brought considerable challenges to every aspect of Scotland’s Railway and I am proud of everyone for their dedication and commitment, working round-the-clock, to keep our customers moving.

“I understand and share the frustrations of our customers when things go wrong, but thanks to the ever-improving measures we are establishing to tackle incidents of this nature, I am pleased with how quickly we were able to restore services.

“The unprecedented investment in upgrading the infrastructure, and introducing new and upgraded trains, is delivering a consistent level of performance and I am looking forward to continuing improvements in the weeks and months ahead.”