Performance on the UK rail network is in decline, both in terms of public performance measure (PPM) and right time. But are we missing a trick when it comes to unattributed delay, challenged Matt Wilson of Golden Whistles award sponsor Tracsis.

Delay attribution is hugely important to performance management, and helps operators identify plans to make improvements. However, using operational data from Virgin Trains East Coast, Mr Wilson demonstrated that, where attributed delay varied from one day to the next, unattributed delays, for which a cause had not been identified, remained near enough constant (see graph). VTEC sees an average of 35,000 minutes of unattributed, sub-threshold delay per period, which equates to around nine minutes per train. With Transport Focus highlighting that passenger satisfaction declines from delays of as small as one minute, there is a clear challenge here to the industry.

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