The performance of Network Rail Scotland during Control Period 5 (CP5) is “mixed,” according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
In a series of annual assessments, the regulator has investigated the performance of Highways England, Network Rail and now Network Rail Scotland.
For all three, there have been many incidences of strong performance highlighted; for the latter, that came in the good progress of delivery of enhancement and freight performance.
However, Network Rail Scotland need to improve passenger train service performance, which has been described as poor.
The regulator said the organisation finished the five-year funding period of CP5 very strongly in terms of its enhancements delivery programme; key milestones were met or even exceeded, with the example of the Shotts Electrification project highlighted, this despite the collapse of the electrification contractor late into the project.
Elsewhere, Network Rail Scotland’s commitment to electrification is clear through the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa rail project, while progress has also been made on redeveloping Glasgow Queen Street Station.
For the rail freight sector, 2018-19 saw the performance measure for on-time arrivals hit 96.7%; this is much higher than the target.
However, where the organisation must improve is in train service performance, which has declined; indeed, Scotland was 5.1% below the punctuality target at the end of 2018-19.
And Stephanie Tobyn, ORR Director in Scotland, praised the progress made over the year, but warned that improvements have to be made.
“Given the recent challenges faced by electrification projects across Great Britain, it is encouraging to see Network Rail Scotland perform well in its enhancements delivery programme.
“It also outperformed all of the routes in England and Wales on its asset management scorecard targets.
“However, there is an increase in time taken to recover from infrastructure incidents – something we have especially highlighted. This is a worrying rend as passengers are not seeing the benefit of Network Rail’s improving asset reliability.
“We are monitoring this issue closely.”