National Express East Coast is Britain's most improved train operator, says industry survey
National Express East Coast has today been identified as Britain’s most improved train operator in the latest league tables of rail performance statistics.
The news comes as National Express rail company c2c, which operates trains between London and the Essex coast, was named as Britain’s most punctual train operator in the same survey.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) quarterly National Rail Trends survey shows that the percentage of National Express East Coast trains arriving on time in the first three months of 2009 was 90.4% - up by 4.3% on the same period in 2008, the biggest improvement of any train operator in Britain.
National Express c2c achieved the highest score in Britain with punctuality of 96.7%. Sister company National Express East Anglia also saw its punctuality improve, with its public performance measure (PPM) of its trains arriving on time rising by 1.1 per cent to 92.5%. Its Moving Annual Average figure of 90.8% is the best achieved since the start of the franchise.
The survey also reports a 44 per cent year-on-year drop in complaints to National Express East Coast, with a further 32.4 per cent fall in complaints in the first three months of this year compared with the full year 2008-09.
David Franks, Acting UK Chief Executive of National Express, said: “I am delighted at these impressive results, achieved during challenging times for our business.
“The sustained improvements in reliability are the product of a lot of hard work by all our people, from station staff and on-train teams through to our train and maintenance depots.
“We fully recognise there is always more to do to build on these very encouraging results as we work to build an ever improving railway for our customers”.
Note to editors:
Today’s results follow a £27 million investment in upgrading National Express East Coast’s fleet of High Speed Trains (HSTs), completed in March of this year. The operator’s 30 HST power cars have all been fitted with new, high performing engines in a project which took 29 months to complete.
The MTU engines have significantly improved performance of the HST fleet, with the repowered vehicles delivering a 15% improvement in fuel consumption. They are also quieter than the Valenta engines they replaced, and have a longer service life.
A separate £20 million project to rebuild the interior of every National Express East Coast HST train carriage, featuring brighter and more spacious interiors, is due for completion later this month.