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Railhub Archive
2000-10-09 RTK-002
Railtrack Group PLC


Railtrack announces half year operating performance

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Railtrack Group PLC

Railtrack announces half year operating performance

9 October 2000
source Railtrack Group PLC
type Press release

'The first half of the financial year saw record levels of investment,
with an increase of 36% to £1.2 billion. This is more than Railtrack invested
in the whole of 1996/7. Two key safety measures have continued to move in the
right direction in the first half of the financial year. Signals passed at
danger and broken rails continue to show big reductions, down 30% and 32%
respectively' announced Gerald Corbett Railtrack's Chief Executive.

'Our performance management programme reduced the number of incidents
that caused delays. However, minutes delays to passenger trains increased in
the first half by 10%

'We are delivering record levels of investment, growth in the network
and a huge safety agenda. This has impacted train performance which has been
exacerbated by elements outside of Railtrack's control. It was the wettest
April on record, May was the wettest for 17 years and September the wettest
for 19 years. The closure of the Strood tunnel and security alerts were
further factors

'We apologise for the inconvenience delays cause to travellers,
however, our investment programme is vital to the long term health of the
railway and passengers will ultimately benefit from the work.'

The half year performance for Railtrack is 6% worse overall with passenger
train delays 10% worse and Freight train performance 13% better.

Over the half year period:
- Track Circuit Failures remain the largest cause of delay accounting for
416,000 minutes. Much of the deterioration can be attributed to the wettest
April since records began and the wettest May and September in 17 and 19 years

- Fatalities and trespass caused a 30% increase in delays to 207,000 minutes.

- Points failures accounted for 233,000 minutes which is 17% less than last
year but still one of the major contributors to passenger delay.

- Security alert delays rose by 120% and the effects of bridge bashes rose

The major delays in the second quarter were:
- Victoria / Paddington security alerts on the 19 July where 23,672 minutes
were lost.

- Fatality at Salfords (Brighton Main Line) in September caused 8,415 minutes
delay which is the equivalent of two normal days on Southern Zone.

- Burst water main in the Stour Tunnel, Birmingham New Street on 3 August saw
7,563 minutes lost which is the equivalent of two normal days on the Midland

'We have already warned that the autumn will be a real challenge this year.
To meet this challenge and continue our progress on train performance over the
last few years we have a bigger autumn programme than ever before with on
train sanders, sandite trains, leaf guards, vegetation management, sandsticks
and a thousand staff on standby at 0300. A good autumn could see us improve
our position.' said Mr Corbett.

The half year has seen a reduction of signals passed at danger with the half
year figure at 212, a reduction of 90 (30%) on the same period last year. The
significant reduction of signals passed at danger is reflected in the fact
that five of the periods represent the lowest ever number of signals passed at
danger for that period with the one other showing the second lowest for the
period. The most serious incidents of signals passed at danger (category
4-8) was reduced 23%.

The second quarter also saw the continued installation of the £360
million train protection and warning system on the network as Railtrack works
to meet its accelerated deadline of all the relevant signals fitted by
December 2002.

Trespass and vandalism is a major safety issue and in the quarter we
signed the Football in the Community scheme, a £1 million partnership which
aims to provide structured football coaching opportunities for over a million
children across the country each year. A successful trial of the scheme
with Charlton Athletic Football Club proved that instances of trespass and
vandalism can be reduced. The pilot scheme resulted in a 9% local reduction
in trespass and vandalism incidents against a backdrop of a increase in
incidents across the country as a whole. It is one of 140 separate trespass
and vandalism initiatives in place across the country.

Investment topped the £1 billion mark for the first time in a half year
period. Major project works like the £125 million upgrade of Euston and the
£36 million of Proof House were completed as part of the west coast main line
route modernisation where investment is rapidly accelerating as planned. The
£1.19 billion investment is a 36% increase on the spend achieved last year and
sees Railtrack well on course to meet the £2.5 billion investment target,
which is twice the level of four years ago and far more than anything ever
achieved by British Rail. Other major projects like the Sunderland Metro,
Leeds 1st and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link are progressing to plan.

Track Quality
The number of broken rails are down by 32% in the first half of the year from
256 to 174 and reflect the £100 million investment programme undertaken to
tackle the problem. The programme of track recording, more frequent Ultrasonic
Test Unit runs, more rail grinding, more stone blowing, increased re-railing,
cold bolt hole expansion and re-ballasting continues at pace.

'Looking forward it is our investment and safety programmes which will
dominate our operating agenda. In time our current investment programme will
deliver more capacity, greater reliability, better performance and improved

'We have increased our investment and expenditure to deliver on our public
service obligations.'

Railtrack PLC Railtrack House Euston Square London NW1 2EE

Telephone 0207 557 8292/8293

Second quarter and year-to-date operating statistics are as follows:

Periods 1-6 Periods 4-6
% Improvement against same
period last year in Railtrack
attributed minutes delay
- Passenger 10% worse 14% worse

- Freight 13% 6%

- Total 6% 11% worse

Broken Rails
- Number 174 76

- % Reduction against same 32% 22%
period last year

Signals passed at danger
- Number 215 108

- % reduction against same
period last year 30% 32%

Estimated growth in
passenger train miles % 1.1%

Investment include CTRL
- £million 1188 668

- % increase against same period
last year 36% 34%

- £million 972 546

- % increase against same period
last year 40% 35%

Railtrack PLC Railtrack House Euston Square London NW1 2EE

Telephone 0207 557 8292/8293

For more information or an interview, contact the Railtrack press office on
020 7557 8292/3

All recent press releases can be found on the Railtrack web site at the
following address:

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-10-09 RTK-002


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