Monday, 21 November 2011

A new reply! With some BIG numbers in it!

Dear Dom

Thank you for your emails and I apologise for the delays on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, one of the trains ahead of yours had a technical problem. This was quickly rectified but we were disappointed that it still caused us a disruption. On Thursday, an earlier train left the depot late, which held up a number of others.

There is no lack of willingness within the rail industry to invest in the infrastructure and service on the part of and this includes First Group and First Great Western, Network Rail and the Department for Transport. One of the most significant investments that we have made during the course of our current franchise, was spending £80 million on our High Speed Trains Fleet to make them more reliable. Network Rail are spending £850 million on the remodelling of Reading station along with the work already completed to redouble the Cotswolds line. I am also pleased to say that we will be making a very important announcement next week in regard to our rolling stock.

Running a reliable railway at the same time we are trying to reconstruct it is challenging but we're looking towards the longer term benefits that the significant level of investment that is being made will bring.

In terms of our Public Performance measurements, reliability and punctuality are two entirely different things. Our statistics for 'reliability' describe the number of trains we've run (i.e not cancelled), against the number of trains time-tabled to run. I hope that explains.

Yours sincerely



  1. I have a sneaking suspicion that all this investment and striving to improve punctuality and reliability might well result in price rises for us unfortunate train users

  2. I suspect you're right. To follow last year's twice-the-rate-of-inflation rise and this year's, er, twice-the-rate-of-inflation rise...