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Almost half of trains on some routes run late, figures show
ALMOST half of trains run late on some North-East routes, new punctuality figures show.
Only 57.9 per cent of services operated by East Coast were on time in the 12 months to August 17, 2013, according to right-time statistics from Network Rail (NR).
The report revealed that 61.9 per cent of trains run by First Transpennine Express (FTPE), which runs services between the North-East and North West, arrived on schedule.
Figures for Northern Rail showed 71.9 per cent of its trains ran on time.
Within the right-time performance, a train is only considered to be on time if it arrives early or within 59 seconds of schedule.
On this basis, 67.6 per cent of trains nationally were on time during the 12-month period.
Nationally, around 60 per cent of delays to train services are attributed to NR, which has been repeatedly warned by the Office of Rail Regulation about its punctuality performance.
John Gelso, spokesman for East Coast, said the company's figures were above several of its long-distance competitors, including Virgin Trains and CrossCountry.
He said the company was often affected by incidents outside its control, including in recent weeks a fatality on the line, a cow being hit by a train and lightening in Scotland.
The company said it was important Network Rail continued its investment in the rail infrastructure.
Mr Gelso added: “We are continuing to work hard to get more East Coast trains arriving at their destination on time.”
FTPE said the agreed industry measure for assessing the punctuality of services was for trains to arrive within nine minutes of the stated timetable.
A spokesman added: “Using this measure, FTPE trains arrive on time 92 per cent of the time.
“We operate inter city services across the north of England over great distances and would suggest that making similar journeys via the road network would not be a punctual.
"Our new trains and new timetable for May 2014 will see journey time improvements across our network."
Northern Rail said the latest figures showed its trains performed above the national average.
“We understand how important it is for our customers that their train is on time, which is why we have been working hard to deliver performance to levels our customers rightly expect,” a spokeswoman added.
Northern Rail said right-time statistics were less accurate than the official measure of industry performance and should be treated carefully.
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