The good, the bad & the indifferent: How the TOCs have performed

Latest ORR statistics for train operating company performance over the last six years show wide variations in the general upward growth in passenger traffic. The results are summarised in the three tables below.

ORR’s source data was extracted from Network Rail, the train operating companies and LENNON; (Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Over Night) the industry fare settlement and allocation system.

Three factors should be borne in mind when interpreting these figures:

(1) The analysis was applied retrospectively (i.e. took into account franchise ownership changes during the six-year period; e.g. older TOCs subsumed to form GTR in 2014/15) to facilitate like-for-like comparisons. GTR is also the largest TOC whether measured in terms of passenger journeys, passenger kilometres or passenger train kilometres.

(2) Some Greater Anglia services in the London area were transferred to London Overground and TfL Rail from 31 May 2015. The effect diminished the 2015/16 results of the former TOC but enhanced the latter two. (GA percentage changes have been shown to 2014/15, the last comparative year).

(3) London Overground results are in a different category to the others since its expansion is mainly due to the on-going creation of new services on routes largely unserved by other franchised operators (principally, the East London and South London Lines and their extensions).

Passenger Journeys: Passenger journeys do no take into account distance, and the results are dominated by the (relatively) short-haul L&SE (London & South Eastern) sector operators. Journeys involving a change of train are treated as separate journeys and counted accordingly.

The three largest TOCs in terms of passengers carried were GTR (327.0 million), South West Trains (237.6 million), and London Overground (154.8 million); Virgin Trains East Coast was the smallest (21.1 million).

After London Overground, the three best growth rates were achieved by Chiltern (32.4%), GTR (25.0%) and c2c (24.7%). Greater Anglia turned in a 24.8% increase in the five years to 2014/15. London Overground journeys grew by 189.3% (i.e nearly trebled).

While the general trend was upward it was not universal; Merseyrail journeys flat-lined throughout and only recorded a 4.1% – and the only single digit- increase in growth (though MR passenger kilometre results were up 27.6%). Also, the Southeastern journeys in 2015/16 dipped to 181.7m.

  Table 1:  Annual number of passenger journeys by franchised train operators (millions)               
2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Growth (%)
(a) (b) (b)/(a)
ATW   27.6   28.4   29.0   29.9   30.8   31.5   14.1
C2C   34.8   36.4   37.4   38.8   40.8   43.4   24.7
Ch   18.5   19.7   21.4   22.8   23.6   24.5   32.4
CC   31.3   33.0   33.4   34.2   35.4   37.2   18.8
EMT   22.7   23.9   24.1   24.1   25.5   26.1   15.0
FTPE   23.8   24.8   24.9   26.1   28.6   29.4   23.5
GTR 261.7 273.9 277.7 299.7 312.4 327.0   25.0
GWR   90.5   95.6   97.3   99.7 103.7 103.9   14.8
GA 114.9 122.8 126.4 135.2 143.4   91.7 (p)   24.8*
LM   56.0   59.5   60.5   64.0   65.3   69.6   24.3
LO   53.5 102.6 124.6 135.7 140.1 154.8 189.3
MR   41.7   43.5   41.7   42.7   44.3   43.4     4.1
No   86.7   91.5   89.8   94.0   96.4   97.4   12.3
ScR   78.3   81.1   83.3   86.3   92.7   93.2   19.0
SE 162.1 165.5 169.3 178.6 185.8 181.7   12.1
SWT 202.4 208.8 210.8 222.8 229.9 237.6   17.4
TfL(R)   37.5   n/a
VTEC   18.5   18.9   19.0   19.9   20.7   21.1   14.0
VTWC   28.9   30.2   30.4   31.9   34.5   35.7   23.5
Note: (p) denotes provisional; * denotes GA % to 2014/15

 

Passenger Kilometres: Passenger kilometres give a better indication of traffic carried than passenger numbers alone. By this measure the largest TOCS were GTR (8.933 billion), VTWC (7.060 billion) and South West Trains (6.408 billion); the smallest were Merseyrail (0.696 billion) and TfL Rail (0.505 billion). (The latter should increase considerably once Crossrail is operational).

After London Overground (54.3%), the three largest passenger kilometre increases were recorded by London Midland (40.8%), Chiltern (40.2%) and First Transpennine Express (29.5%). The lowest were GWR (8.2%) and ScotRail (8.8%), the only two TOCs to record single digit growth.

   Table 2:  Annual passenger kilometres by franchised train operators (millions)
2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Growth (%)
(a) (b) (b)/(a)
ATW 1,100.9 1,142.0 1,154.0 1,167.2 1,197.7 1,215.3 10.4
C2C    957.8    988.8 1,008.6 1,044.4 1,084.5 1,139.7 19.0
Ch    924.5 1,000.9 1,132.5 1,198.0 1,221.0 1,295.9 40.2
CC 3,078.5 3,252.4 3,254.1 3,247.2 3,367.2 3,496.5 13.6
EMT 2,084.7 2,194.6 2,252.4 2,231.8 2,353.7 2,389.3 14.6
FTPE 1,508.2 1,575.8 1,603.9 1,663.3 1,850.8 1,953.7 29.5
GTR 7,356.0 7,851.5 8,023.5 8,396.7 8,691.0 8,932.6 21.4
GWR 5,519.8 5,840.4 5,867.8 5,785.0 5,940.9 5,937.8   8.2
GA 3,886.5 4,035.6 4,146.9 4,350.3 4,524.0 3,877.0 (p) 16.4*
LM 1,852.3 2,090.5 2,241.2 2,363.7 2,373.0 2,607.2 40.8
LO    606.2    644.8    780.0    840.4    863.2    953.5 54.3
MR    545.1    634.3    611.7    661.2    695.7    695.7 27.6
No 2,026.3 2,132.9 2,122.1 2,210.5 2,276.5 2,322.3 14.6
ScR 2,641.8 2,681.6 2,712.8 2,827.5 3,020.7 2,873.8   8.8
SE 3,984.6 4,128.8 4,218.1 4,347.2 4,514.5 4,538.7 13.9
SWT 5,524.0 5,720.2 5,777.5 6,045.8 6,222.0 6,408.2 16.0
TfL(R)    504.8  n/a
VTEC 4,771.5 4,893.3 4,934.3 5,107.8 5,297.7 5,385.7 12.9
VTWC 5,698.8 5,923.0 5,958.4 6,215.4 6,887.9 7,059.8 23.9
Note: (p) denotes provisional; * denotes GA % to 2014/15

 

Passenger train kilometres: Passenger train kilometres reflect the actual mileage run, not the timetabled mileage scheduled. The highest passenger train kilometres were from GTR (61.9 million), ScotRail (46.7 million) and Northern (46.2 million); the lowest were TfL Rail (2.3 million) and Merseyrail (6.6 million).

After London Overground (72.3%), the three best growth performances were Chiltern (23.3%), First Transpennine Express (16.0%) and Virgin Trains East Coast (11.6%). Most TOCs recorded only single digit increases, but growth at C2c was static (0.00%) and it fell by 2.5% with Virgin Trains West Coast, and by 1.0% with Southeastern.

Explaining the latter anomaly, an ORR spokesperson informed 21CR: “GTR took over some Southeastern services in December 2014 and Southern services in July 2015, hence the decrease over the recent years.

“As for Virgin Trains West Coast,  poor weather conditions in northern England with a series of storms (such as storm Barney with damage from high winds) and closure of the West Coast Main Line (at Lamington, near Lockerbie, due to Storm Frank) impacted their passenger train kilometres, especially in quarter 4 (January – March months).”

 

 

  Table 3: Annual passenger train kilometres (millions)
  2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Growth (%)
(a) (b) (b)/(a)
ATW 22.9 23.5 23.4 23.3 23.5 24.0   4.8
C2C   6.7   6.7   6.8   6.7   6.7   6.7
Ch   9.0   9.9 10.4 10.5 10.3 11.1 23.3
CC 31.9 32.7 32.6 32.4 32.7 33.0   3.4
EMT 22.5 22.8 22.4 22.5 22.7 23.0   2.2
FTPE 16.9 17.0 16.9 16.9 19.5 19.6 16.0
GTR 59.5 60.8 60.4 60.0 60.8 61.9   4.0
GWR 41.4 42.8 42.5 42.0 42.8 43.0   3.9
GA 32.9 33.3 33.9 34.1 34.2 29.8 (p)   4.0*
LM 23.1 23.6 23.6 24.5 24.5 25.0   8.2
LO   4.7   5.6   6.1   6.0   6.0   8.1 72.3
MR   6.2   6.6   6.5   6.5   6.6   6.6   6.5
No 45.0 45.7 45.5 45.5 46.1 46.2   2.7
ScR 42.4 44.4 45.4 46.1 47.3 46.7 10.7
SE 31.4 32.0 32.0 31.8 31.7 31.1 (1.0)
SWT 39.9 40.3 39.9 39.9 40.2 40.2   0.8
TfL(R)   2.3  n/a
VTEC 19.8 21.6 21.7 21.7 21.9 22.1 11.6
VTWC 36.1 36.4 36.0 36.0 35.5 35.2 (2.5)
Note: (p) denotes provisional; * denotes GA % to 2014/15

 

Unlike other TOCs, Merseyrail passenger numbers remained almost static though passenger kilometres increased 27.6%. That means the same name number of passengers were making longer journeys.
Unlike the other TOCs, Merseyrail passenger numbers remained almost constant throughout though passenger kilometres increased 27.6%. That means the same name number of passengers were making longer journeys.

 

                      Glossary Owner/Operator
ATW Arriva Trains West Arriva
C2C C2C National Express
Ch Chiltern Arriva
CC Cross Country Arriva
EMT East Midlands Trains Stagecoach
FTPE First Transpennine Express FirstGroup
GTR Govia Thameslink Railway Govia
GWR Great Western Railway FirstGroup
GA Greater Anglia Abellio
LM London Midland Govia
LO London Overground Arriva/MTR
MR Merseyrail Serco/Abellio
No Northern Arriva
ScR ScotRail Abellio
SE Southeastern Govia
SWT South West Trains Stagecoach
TfL (R) TfL Rail MTR
VTEC Virgin Trains East Coast Stagecoach 90%/Virgin 10%
VTWC Virgin Trains West Coast Virgin 51%/Stagecoach 49%
Note:  Govia is a Go-Ahead (65%)/ Keolis (35%) joint venture

ORR Key Stats – all TOCs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *