Shropshire Star

Most unreliable train service revealed in study

Avanti West Coast has been ranked as the least reliable train operator in Britain.


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A study by travel deal site Tripplo found that 15.36 per cent of all its trains were cancelled or delayed by 15 minutes or more between the start of 2021 and September last year.

During the period, a total of 1,289,833 minutes were lost to delays, equivalent to 895 days.

Greater Anglia was found to be the most reliable train operator, with just 2.2 per cent of all trains being cancelled or delayed.

Tripplo analysed data from the Office of Rail and Road to find the percentage of train journeys that were either cancelled or delayed by 15 minutes or more from different rail operators.

In second worst place, with 12.32 per cent of all trains either cancelled or seriously late, is Grand Central Rail.

Travellers using Grand Central Rail’s services lost a total of 114,069 minutes due to delays, the equivalent to 79 days of travel.

Third place goes to CrossCountry Trains, which is centred around Birmingham New Street.

It saw 12.26 per cent of its trains arriving 15 minutes or more late or being cancelled altogether.

Passengers using CrossCountry services lost a total of 1,087,863 minutes due to delays, with 20 per cent of those delays occurring in July to September 2023.

Transport for Wales was eighth worst at 7.44 per cent.

A total of 25,545,581 minutes were lost due to delays across every operator over the time period analysed.

This works out to a staggering 48.6 calendar years’ worth of time lost due to train delays.

According to the Office of Rail and Road, the percentage of recorded station stops arriving ‘on time’ – early or less than one minute after the scheduled time – in Britain was just 62.2 per cent in the latest quarter – October to December 2023

Axel Hernborg, founder of Tripplo, said: “The findings offer a glimpse into the state of the nation's rail services.

"Across the nation, there's a noticeable variation in performance, with some operators, such as Avanti West Coast, consistently underperforming.

"This variability in findings perhaps highlights the complexity of maintaining a cohesive rail network while emphasising the necessity for ongoing evaluation, strategic planning, and investment to bolster reliability standards and enhance the overall passenger experience.

“It’s no secret that the UK’s rail network is a far shout from those within mainland Europe in terms of efficiency and reliability, and these findings simply underscore that.”