Thursday, 3 February 2011

Trains 'On Time' Record Challenged

Passenger Focus, the rail passengers' watchdog, has called on train companies to review the way they report punctuality after a study found that passengers' experience of delays was different to official records.  As has been pointed out by many passengers on the Great Eastern mainline, trains may be late at stations along a route but make up sufficient time to arrive at the end of the journey according to the timetable - the train is therefore reported as having been 'on time'.  Most passengers commuting home in the evening leave the train before it reaches its final destination and can be late although the train goes on to reach its final destination on time.

Passenger Focus said the findings of a study it conducted among passengers on National Express East Anglia (along with Northern Rail and CrossCountry) had prompted it to call on the rail industry as a whole to review how it records train times, including punctuality along the route.

This is particularly relevant to NXEA passengers, some of whom have been in dispute with the company when making Delay Repay claims only to be told that the train arrived at its final destination on time and was therefore not delayed.  A train can be delayed only ten minutes along its route to ensure a connection is missed leading to far longer overall delays to passengers' journeys.

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