7th June 2013

  • Network Rail misses England and Wales punctuality targets, but improves in Scotland
  • Virgin Rail prepares to sue Network Rail over performance
  • c2c emergency franchise extension cost taxpayers almost £15 million
In this issue:

Main stories this week

Network Rail missed all its punctuality targets for England and Wales last year, rail regulator figures reveal, although punctuality improved in Scotland. [BBC News]

  • [The Times] also has the story.
  • Network Rail expects the Office for Rail Regulation to call for significant cost-cutting after accounts for the state-funded company showed that its debt had rocketed to £30 billion. [The Times]
  • It comes as the [Daily Telegraph] disclosed the future incentive scheme for the company, under which executives will be paid twice as much for saving money as making trains run on time under a new incentive scheme.

The news came as Virgin Rail is preparing to take legal action against Network Rail in a bid to force it to improve punctuality on the West Coast mainline, the country’s busiest intercity route. [Financial Times]

  • Virgin Trains is also lobbying for all aspects of passenger information and customer service at major stations to transfer from Network Rail to train operators. [Transport Briefing]

c2c‘s emergency franchise extension, confirmed after the collapse of the West Coast competition last year, is set to cost taxpayers almost £15 million. [Railnews]

New services

Crossrail should be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Line when trains start running in five years’ time, Boris Johnson has said. [Evening Standard]

  • Boris Johnson warned the government it would be “insanity” to curb transport investment in London at a ceremony to mark a major milestone in the construction of Crossrail, which he said the coalition had considered scrapping. [The Guardian]

Problems in securing a £1.6bn contract for Thameslink trains threatens to delay delivery of the cross-London rail project beyond 2018, according to the National Audit Office. [Financial Times]

Other news

Glasgow’s troubled Subway network is expected to be fully operational by the weekend after being closed over safety fears. [The Herald]

Britain’s rail passengers are the victims of a ‘great train robbery’, a damning study has concluded. [Daily Mail]

Network Rail has begun a ‘clampdown’ on staff use of social media. [BBC News]

Sponsorship deals to rename London Underground lines and stations should be considered as a way to fund a freeze in fares, Tory politicians have said. [BBC News]

Reprivatising East Coast has been called “absurd” and “baffling” by Middlesbrough’s MP. [BBC News]

Company news

The French government has hit out at a ruling by the UK competition watchdog to bar Eurotunnel, the company that operates the Channel tunnel, from running ferry services to and from Dover. [Financial Times]