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Union backs East Coast public sector operator

Union backs East Coast public sector operator.
Union backs East Coast public sector operator.

A transport union claims East Coast mainline, which covers Stevenage and Peterborough, should not be re-privatised because the company running it is paying "massive sums" back to taxpayers.

The RMT Union said figures out this week will show Directly Operated Railways paid 235 million pounds to the Government last year - 12% more than the previous year.

The Government has signalled its intention to return the line to the private sector and has shortlisted three bidders with a new franchise due to start next year.

Train operator says new trains will mean more seats and a better service

East Coast trains has revealed the final designs of a new generation of InterCity carriages soon to take to the tracks in our region.

Work is underway on the first of hundreds of new state-of-the-art bullet-style trains at a cost of almost £6 billion.

East Coast promises extra seats and more space. The new trains will replace the ageing stock currently in use on the line which links London and Scotland via Stevenage and Peterborough.

Mike Pearse reports.

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Travel disruption on East Coast rail line due to weather

The East Coast rail service is facing disruption due to bad weather Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The East Coast rail company which runs services through Peterborough is operating a revised timetable with some cancellations because of the bad weather.

Network Rail is to impose speed restrictions on the route to and from London Kings Cross.

Services cancelled from London King's Cross

14:08 London King's Cross to Newark

16:08 London King's Cross to Newark

17:03 London King's Cross to Leeds

17:49 London King's Cross to Leeds

18:19 London King's Cross to Newcastle

19:03 London King's Cross to Leeds

Services cancelled to London King's Cross

14:45 Leeds to London King's Cross

15:52 Newark to London King's Cross

15:45 Leeds to London King's Cross

17:54 Newark to London King's Cross

18:01 York to London King's Cross

19:15 Leeds to London King's Cross

East Coast says customers planning to travel on Monday 23 December should travel earlier in the day if this is possible.

Customers with tickets for any cancelled services on Monday 23 December are advised to travel on the nearest available train before or after their booked service.

No East Coast services between Peterborough and Kings Cross

Due to storm damage, no East Coast trains are running in or out of London King’s Cross station. There are no services running south of Peterborough and all other East Coast southbound trains are terminating early.

As a result, many trains are subject to short term cancellation and delays, and currently, there is no firm indication when services will be resumed.

Other train companies including Virgin, East Midlands and Chiltern are also experiencing severe disruption.

Fallen tree covering a stretch of line near Hatfield.
Fallen tree covering a stretch of line near Hatfield. Credit: Network Rail

The storm damage has resulted in multiple incidents involving overhead power lines, with many fallen trees and debris across the line – and the heavy rain has flooded track in places, causing problems to signalling.

The line near Hatfield affected by a fallen tree and debris.
The line near Hatfield affected by a fallen tree and debris. Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail says they are working hard to clear the debris from the track and to resolve other issues, but it is likely the work will take much of the day.

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Revised rail timetables for storms

Rail operators are warning of potentially severe disruption to services tomorrow morning as the region prepares to be battered by storms.

East Coast, First Capital Connect and Greater Anglia have all issued revised timetables ahead of the poor weather.

Many routes are likely to be disrupted and passengers are being warned to expect some cancellations.

The operators say updates will be posted on their websites and Twitter feeds this evening and tomorrow morning to keep passengers informed.

Follow the links below.

Greater Anglia website.

First Capital Connect website.

East Coast website.

Rail punctuality figures revealed

Fewer than half the trains ran on time on some main line routes in the last 12 months, according to official figures.

Virgin Trains was only able to operate 48.9% of trains on time on the West Coast main line in the 12 months ending April 27 2013 while the CrossCountry company only managed a figure of 46.1%.

The statistics from Network Rail (NR) were based on "right time" performances in which trains are only regarded as being punctual if they arrive within 59 seconds of the timetabled time.

Under the 59-second rule, the NR table showed 68.0% of trains nationally were on time in the 12-month period ending April 27 this year.

Train companies below the average figure included Southern (55.5% punctuality), First ScotRail (59.8%) ,East Coast (60.9%) and First TransPennine Express (63.8%).

Best-performing company was London Overground (86.8%) followed by Chiltern (86.5%).

NR also released regional figures for the four-week period ending April 27 based on the 59-second rule.

Overall, 72.3% of trains ran on time during this period, although long-distance operators only managed a figure of 58.0%.

NR also announced today the latest monthly punctuality figures based on commuter trains arriving within five minutes of the scheduled time and long-distance services arriving within 10 minutes of the scheduled time.

These are the figures on which rail regulators judge NR's performance and they showed that nationally in the period from April 28 to May 25 this year, 93.5% of trains were on time.

This compared with a figure of 92.3% for the same period last year.

Virgin Trains (85.7%), London Midland (89.2%) and East Coast (89.4%), were the only companies to fall beneath 90%, with the London to Tilbury and Southend company c2c being the best-performing company, with a figure of 98.2%.

NR said infrastructure, overhead line and signalling equipment problems caused the majority of delays on the West Coast Main Line during the period, thus impacting upon Virgin's punctuality.

It added that a series of measures to address performance on the southern end of the West Coast route would be announced in the next few weeks.

East Coast had most late trains last month

East Coast Credit: PA

East Coast rail had the most late-running trains last month, according to figures from Network Rail.

East Coast was able to run only 82.8% of trains on time, making it the poorest-performing train operator.

Across all train companies, a total of 91.4% of trains ran on time in the period March 3 to March 31, compared with 93.4% for the same period last year.

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