LONDON, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Today's train performance figures published by Network Rail (NR) show that the infrastructure performance of the West Coast Main Line continues to be unacceptable and this is having a major impact on Virgin Trains' customers and those of other operators, who have seen punctuality fall well below expected levels.
Virgin Trains will work to help Network Rail achieve better performance, and are meeting with Senior NR Executives to discuss this.
Whilst the Office of Rail Regulation's (ORR) action last week to focus NR's attention on long-distance routes is welcome, it does not deal adequately with the immediate issues.
We are concerned with the lack of focus on immediate improvement, as we and our customers must see short-term progress, especially as the Olympics and Paralympics will be a showcase for the industry.
The problem has been highlighted recently as improved weather at the end of May ruined performance through heat-related delays with performance on some days being at around
60 per cent punctuality.
We have repeatedly told the ORR and NR that we must have a reliable infrastructure if we are to continue the remarkable growth of recent years, when we have seen the number of customers double to 30 million a year. Anything short of this will affect the potential of the West Coast Mainline to continue its success.
Notes to Editors
Visit our Media Room website - http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room/ - for an Image Library of pictures of Virgin Trains and the company's operations, or to subscribe to receive alerts to new press releases.
Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997.
The current franchise was due to run until 31 March 2012, but the Department for Transport announced on 27 October 2011 that it would be extended until 8 December 2012. We have been short-listed for the new franchise that will start on 9 December 2012 and run until 31 March 2026, with an option to be extended by up to 20 months.
Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous industry awards. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which we also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction. In 2012 we were named Best Rail Operator of the Year at the Travel Globe Awards (voted for by readers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. We also won this award in 2010. In 2009 we were voted Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine for the second year running.
Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011. In May 2011 Virgin Trains was awarded accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.
For further media information contact the Virgin Trains Press Office on 0845-000-3333 or visit our Media Room website at http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room/
SOURCE Virgin Trains (West Coast Trains)