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Proportion of trains running on time

Department for Transport (DfT) business plan indicator.

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DfT Business Plan input indicator

Geographical coverage: DfT franchised train operators (Great Britain)

Information broken down by: Train operator

Latest data

89.1% of trains arrived at their destination on time between 7 February 2016 and 5 March 2016 in Great Britain, a decrease from 90.7% the same period last year (GB total).

The GB average headline figure incorporates Public Performance Measure (PPM) averages for operators franchised by devolved administrations (Arriva Trains Wales, Caledonian Sleeper, ScotRail, London Overground and Merseyrail), and non-franchised operators (Grand Central, Heathrow Express and Hull Trains). The following table covers only DfT franchised operators.

Public Performance Measure (PPM) for DfT franchised Train Operating Companies1

Percentage of trains running on time 2014 to 2015 P13 and 2015 to 2016 P132

  Latest rail period   Moving Annual Average (MAA)  
Train Operating Company 2014 to 2015 P13 2015 to 2016 P13 2014 to 2015 P13 2015 to 2016 P13
c2c 98.0% 93.8% 96.9% 96.7%
Chiltern Railways 95.6% 96.0% 95.0% 94.4%
CrossCountry 88.4% 91.4% 88.8% 89.5%
East Midlands Trains 94.5% 91.7% 92.1% 92.8%
First TransPennine Express 92.9% 90.0% 88.6% 87.8%
Govia Thameslink Railway3,4 82.7% 82.5% 83.8% 81.5%
Great Western Railway 92.5% 91.5% 88.9% 89.5%
Greater Anglia 92.1% 91.4% 89.9% 89.3%
London Midland 88.5% 90.4% 88.0% 88.1%
Northern Rail 93.8% 93.1% 90.9% 90.7%
South West Trains 92.6% 90.2% 90.1% 90.1%
Southeastern 93.1% 89.1% 89.3% 86.9%
Virgin Trains East Coast6 90.0% 87.1% 88.6% 85.2%
Virgin Trains West Coast 86.1% 83.4% 84.7% 86.0%

1These are provisional statistics and are subject to revision.

2Period 13 2014 to 2015 ran from 1 March to 31 March 2015. Period 13 2015 to 2016 ran from 6 March to 31 March 2016.

3Govia Thameslink Railway took over the First Capital Connect franchise on 14 September 2014.

4Govia Thameslink Railway took over the Southern franchise on 26 July 2015.

5First Great Western was rebranded as Great Western Railway on 20 September 2015.

6Formerly East Coast. Virgin Trains East Coast took over the franchise on 1 March 2015.

Source: Office of Rail and Road (ORR)

View this data in an interactive chart

Between 6 March and 31 March 2016, 96.0% of Chiltern Railways services arrived at their destination on time, the highest figure for any DfT franchised train operator. Govia Thameslink Railway had the lowest figure with 82.5% of trains on time.

Following restrictions brought in after the Hatfield crash in October 2000, PPM fell sharply across the country, and took nearly a decade to recover to previous levels. Since 2008 to 2009, national PPM has generally been above 90%.

The ‘proportion of trains arriving on time’ Excel file contains a longer time series of PPM figures for each of the DfT franchised train operators.

Background information

The Public Performance Measure (PPM) combines figures for punctuality and reliability into a single performance record. It covers all scheduled franchised passenger services, 7 days a week and measures the arrival punctuality of individual trains at their destination against their planned timetable. These plans, technically called ‘plan of the day’, are usually the same as the published timetable with amendments reflecting pre-published engineering amendments; however, they may differ from their originally published timetable. Services that are cancelled or fail to operate their entire route, calling at every station, count as a PPM failure.

PPM represents the percentage of trains which are ‘on time’ compared to the total number of trains planned. A train is defined as on time if it arrives at its destination within 5 minutes of the scheduled destination arrival time for London and South East and regional operators, or within ten minutes for long-distance operators.

PPM can fluctuate widely period-by-period for many reasons, many of which are not within the control of the train operators. For example poor PPM performance can also be caused by other train operators or Network Rail.

More information is available from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and on Network Rail’s and individual operators’ websites. PPM data can be expressed either for the time period, or as a Moving Annual Average (MAA) which is an average for the most recent 13, 4-week reporting periods. MAA figures smooth out short term fluctuations and highlight the annual background performance.

From the beginning of 2015 to 2016, the PPM indicator will be updated on a quarterly basis rather than for 4 week periods. Periodic figures can still be found on the Office of Rail and Road [Data Portal] (http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/).

  • publishing schedule: quarterly (next update 8 September 2016)
  • last updated: 4 May 2016

Further information about this indicator can be found in the measurement template.

PPM data are published on the Office of Rail and Road Data Portal

Further information