Network Rail recently published its interim results for the half year, revealing the best train punctuality for a decade and pre-tax profits of £780m.
Punctuality averaged 91 per cent in the period between April and September which also saw the four per cent rise in pre-tax profits.
‘The company’s performance over the past six months demonstrates the increasing strength and stability of the national railway network,’ said chairman, Ian McAllister. ‘We will maintain a daily focus on the delivery of a safe, reliable and efficient railway, while also looking to the future – growing the capacity of the network and creating an even greener railway for customers.’
In the six month period capital expenditure rose by 16 per cent to £1.7bn, while net debt was reduced by £148m to £18.25bn.
The report also revealed that Network Rail made a 20 per cent efficiency saving over the past two years. This was in response to the Office of Rail Regulation’s target of a 31 per cent reduction in costs over five years, set in March 2004.
‘We have outlined plans of how we’d like to expand and develop the network over the next five years and beyond,’ added McAllister. ‘This will deliver more trains, more seats, more frequently. With passenger numbers at a 60-year high and freight use up more than 50 per cent in the last 10 years, the need to boost capacity on the network is clear. Network rail will play its part in making this happen.’