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1999-02-25 ATO-001
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Rail industry spells out progress on ten-point improvement plan and future goals


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Association of Train Operating Companies



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ATOC

Rail industry spells out progress on ten-point improvement plan and future goals
_______________________________________________________________


date
25 February 1999
source ATOC
type Press release



Leaders of Britain’s rail industry today spelled out the progress made so far on implementing the ten-point improvement plan agreed with the Deputy Prime Minister in November.

Speaking at today’s National Rail Summit in London, Richard Brown, Chief Executive of National Express Trains Division and John Curley, Railtrack Performance Director, reported amongst other actions that:

o a National Punctuality Task Force had been set up as promised: it had undertaken a detailed analysis of the causes of delays, was seeking improvements and providing a forum where rail companies could share best practice;
o 193 new drivers had been trained and another 488 were now in training, so the agreed target of 800 new drivers by the end of the year would be met. The industry was now planning to recruit and train another 500 new drivers a year for the next five years;
o the shortage of experienced operations and timetable planners was being tackled by setting up a new training system including an Institute of Railway Operations to train the next generation of rail managers;
o Train Reliability Action Groups have been set up as promised to tackle the 20 per cent of delays caused by mechanical breakdowns. They have identified 1,600 separate projects being developed to improve reliability, and were working to share experiences so that what worked for one company could be quickly applied by others using the same type of train;
o Over 1800 new trains have been ordered with a further 500 committed by 2002 with subsequent deliveries this year and next. Nine out of ten new trains would replace old, increasingly unreliable ones. "Scrapping these 30 and 40 year old trains will provide an important boost to reliability on a number of lines,"Mr Brown said.
o a completely new timetable planning process had been devised, replacing the competitive, secret bidding system with a more open, consultative process. With approval from the Rail Regulator this will lead to more robust timetables and better connections and recovery processes.
o the industry is applying top level priority action to 50 key hot spots across the network.

Said Railtrack Chief Executive Gerald Corbett . "We have doubled our investment to £1.4 billion and in the next three years are committing to further increasing it to £1.6 billion per annum, of which over half will be for enhancement by the end of the period.

"We are halfway through our station regeneration programme and by 2001 all 2,500 stations will have been completed and the £1 billion programme complete."

He added that "Railtrack is committed to work with the industry to help deliver the Deputy Prime Minister¹s vision of a truly integrated transport policy."

Christopher Garnett, Chief Executive of GNER, told the summit that the historic decline in rail usage had been reversed, with an estimated 25 per cent growth in passenger numbers in four years which is heading rapidly towards a 50-year record. We are experiencing a rail renaissance with high freight and passenger growth leading to a reduction in road accidents, pollution and congestion and helping to meet Government objectives. The subsidy to the rail industry is declining while investment in the rail infrastructure was at a 20-year high. Fares are going down in real terms, by an average of 2 per cent in the last two years.

He said the train operating companies were improving the well-being of their passengers. They had recruited more staff: by the end of next year there would be 1200 extra security staff to support the work of the BT Police; 776 stations would be equipped with video cameras; 430 stations would be registered under the secure stations initiative; and 433 station car parks would have video camera surveillance.

The train companies had also been working to supply more information to passengers when things went wrong. By the end of the year, all trains would be able to receive information from control rooms so that staff could give passengers a proper explanation if there was a delay instead of just talking about "technical reasons".

He concluded that: "We commit ourselves to ensuring that in spite of growing numbers of trains and seriously congested network, we will improve the service to our customers."

-ENDS-

For more information: David Campbell Bannerman, Communications Director 0171 904 3010 or pager (01523) 523 523 pager no. 849718


Railhub Archive ::: 1999-02-25 ATO-001





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