Storms blamed as train punctuality gets worse

THE severe winter storms took their toll last month on train punctuality including that of CrossCountry, which runs trains between Yorkshire and the Midlands, according to official figures.

A total of 87.1% of trains ran on time in the period February 2 to March 1, compared with 91.1% in the same period last year, Network Rail (NR) reported.

While some train companies were able to maintain near-100% punctuality records, others were badly hit by the extreme weather which, in particular, wrecked south and south west England services.

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The CrossCountry train company, whose serpentine route network covers all of Britain except London, managed only a punctuality figure of 78.1% in February, compared with 88.8% for February 2013.

The Southern train company was able to run only 77.1% of trains on time last month - well down on the 88.5% figure achieved in February 2013.

First Great Western, affected by the severe damage to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon, had a trains-on-time figure of only 80.4% last month, compared with 91.8% in February 2013.

Best-performing company last month was London Overground, with a punctuality figure of 96.9%.

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NR said Southern was affected last month by multiple landslips and flood sites.

It added that since December its staff had dealt with more than 500 fallen trees blocking lines, 285 flooded sites and 73 landslips or line washouts.