Page 3: Operational performance
The key measure of Railtrack’s success in meeting these objectives is operational performance. Since privatisation, the railway industry must answer to a new system of analysing train performance - called the performance regime. The performance regime aims to incentivise good performance by Railtrack, train operators and Railtrack’s major contractors. This means providing financial bonuses for those who consistently provide good service and incurring penalties for bad performance. It provides the industry with an inducement to ensure that trains run on time and offer a better service for passengers.
Approximately 1,000 monitoring points across the network check (to the standard required by the Performance Data Accuracy Code) whether trains are running on time. The punctuality and reliability of each train is assessed both at the monitoring points and at the journey’s end. Benchmarking involves the comparison of competences with best-practice. Train services are divided into service groups and each service group has a benchmark number of minutes late agreed with the Rail Regulator. Benchmarks are set at a level to encourage performance improvements.
Every train that is over three minutes late is logged by Railtrack and train operator control staff. Responsibility is allocated for the delay. For example, a delay caused by an error by signalling staff is due to Railtrack, whereas a delay caused by train failure is due to the train operator and a delay from a broken rail is the responsibility of Railtrack’s maintenance or infrastructure contractors.
Performance is assessed over four week periods, by comparing the average number of minutes delay against the benchmark. A bonus is received for every minute that the service group is below the benchmark and compensation is payable for each excess minute.