THE railway company operating the re-nationalised East Coast line has seen an increase in profits and improved passenger satisfaction.
Directly Operated Railways (DOR), which took over the running of the line from National Express, said its operating profit increased by seven per cent in the year to March to £7.1m.
Turnover for the year amounted to £665.8m, an increase of £20m, leaving a profit before tax and service payments to the Department for Transport of £195.7m, an increase of £13m.
Passenger journeys at East Coast, which runs trains from London to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, increased by 2.1 per cent while customer satisfaction at East Coast rose by two per cent.
DOR chairman Doug Sutherland said: “During the year, we made further very good progress with the business turnaround of East Coast, and continued to invest in our infrastructure assets, our people, and the delivery of significant improvements in customer service.
“Our assets have been worked harder, and a solid financial performance has been achieved in a challenging economic environment.
“The major challenge in May 2011 was the introduction of a comprehensive timetable change across the entire East Coast network.
“Despite being the biggest change on the East Coast Main Line in 20 years – and 10 years in the making by the industry – the new timetable was introduced seamlessly by East Coast. I want to thank everyone who helped to make that possible.”
DOR said it anticipated that the franchise will transfer to a new private operator around the end of 2013.
DOR said there had been a “major surge” of 21 per cent in first class journeys during 2011/12, including a 31 per cent increase in first class passenger journeys on Leeds to London services.