Southern trains are late again

First published in News by

Almost half of Southern trains arrived late this year according to new figures.

Network Rail data shows just 56.9 per cent of trains arrived early or within 59 seconds of schedule, making the franchise one of the worst performing in the country.

Other operators in Sussex fared little better with Southeastern getting only 65.8 per cent of trains to the station on time and First Capital Connect with 71.7 per cent.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: “Passengers tell us that punctual trains are what they want most from the railway and Southern’s performance has not been good enough.

“It is essential that Southern and Network Rail deliver sustainable improvements, so that passengers have a train service that they can depend on.”

The figures look at the time trains arrive into every station.

Final destination

Figures focusing solely on whether services arrived at their final destination on time were higher, with 87.7 per cent of Southern services arriving on time.

The companies defended themselves, saying comparing different franchises was like comparing apples and oranges, because some train services ran few stops on their services.

Southern admitted its performance had been disappointing, but blamed major incidents for significantly affecting the figures, including a landslip between Horsham and Dorking, power supply problems on the Brighton Mainline and a broken rail near Victoria Station.

A spokesman for Southern, which runs 2,300 services a day and makes more than 24,000 stops at 179 stations, said: “Our performance over the last few months has been disappointing, and we are as frustrated as passengers with the service we and our colleagues at Network Rail have been providing, with repeated infrastructure failures and operating problems.”

Aging trains

A spokesman for First said despite ageing trains and challenging cross-London routes, the company was in the top half of the table.

The company blamed delays on a failed train at Blackfriars, a person being hit by a train and significant signal problems.

The Association of Train Operator Companies, which represents franchises, blamed heavy localised flooding for the poor figures.

Chief executive Michael Roberts said: “The figures make little allowance for variations in train running which sometimes happen for good reason – for example, where a service is held for two or three minutes to help passengers make their connection.”

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Comments (5)

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5:14pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Joshiman says...

Third world rail network in the uk!
Third world rail network in the uk! Joshiman
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Fri 21 Dec 12

ben1390 says...

Only half are late? That's being generous isn't it...
Only half are late? That's being generous isn't it... ben1390
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Sussex jim says...

Bring back the LB&SCR.
Bring back the LB&SCR. Sussex jim
  • Score: 0

7:19am Sat 22 Dec 12

john the train man says...

I think people need to be aware that Southern operate over the most congested lines in the UK. There are trains every few minutes out of Victoria and it only takes a slight problem to cause major disruption. Once this disruption has cleared its not a 5 minute job to get trains back on time. Customers are taken ill on trains and need medical attention also disruptive passengers need removing this all takes time. Signalling problems and people being hit by trains are out of the hands of train operating companies. They have to wait until the police give the track back to Network Rail after a person is hit by a train. I think that Southern do a good job and operate a good service over congested lines. Some people just expect too much. Dr Beeching must take a lot of the blame for closing lines in the 1960's which looking back was very short sighted. Take the fire at Preston Park if the Steyning line was still open there would not have been a long diversion to get to London.
I think people need to be aware that Southern operate over the most congested lines in the UK. There are trains every few minutes out of Victoria and it only takes a slight problem to cause major disruption. Once this disruption has cleared its not a 5 minute job to get trains back on time. Customers are taken ill on trains and need medical attention also disruptive passengers need removing this all takes time. Signalling problems and people being hit by trains are out of the hands of train operating companies. They have to wait until the police give the track back to Network Rail after a person is hit by a train. I think that Southern do a good job and operate a good service over congested lines. Some people just expect too much. Dr Beeching must take a lot of the blame for closing lines in the 1960's which looking back was very short sighted. Take the fire at Preston Park if the Steyning line was still open there would not have been a long diversion to get to London. john the train man
  • Score: 0

8:56am Sat 22 Dec 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Fares up 4 % and late trains. Is it any wonder people shun public transport particularly when you have to stand jammed in between other people for more than an hour.
Fares up 4 % and late trains. Is it any wonder people shun public transport particularly when you have to stand jammed in between other people for more than an hour. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

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