MCL Train Running Performance Apl 2014 – Mch 2015 ….

Posted on July 13th, 2014, by The Chairman

MCRUA has been working with TOCs since January 2000 helping to monitor and improve train running performance along the Mid Cheshire Line.

1 April marks the beginning of a new (Railway) year, so it’s the time we create a new post.

For those interested in the history of how we’ve done over the last few years, click here for the previous post.

We have a summary performance table that we add to each 4 week period. It’s below and will be added to as periods progress.

For those new to this, PPM is “Public Performance Measure” which is a measure each period incorporating percentage of trains running (reliability) and trains arriving at destination within 5 minutes (punctuality). The current target is 92.2%; back in the early 2000s we were wallowing around 70-75%. The MAA is the Moving Annual Average. I’ve added an “acronym buster” at the base of the table.

You’ll see the highest we have achieved was 91.57% in February/March 2011. Since then we slipped due to traincrew shortages, a higher number of unit failures and a string of infrastructure failures, but in particular problems with the “Sectional Running Times” (SRTs) being too tight to cope with the increased passenger loadings we’ve been experiencing on the line over the last few years. These were fixed by the additional of 3 minutes “dwell time” in May 2013.

We’ll add comments to this post as each period’s figures come through ….


Mid Cheshire line – Summary Performance from 2010/11 for PPM/MAA

Period 13 PPM 89.66% MAA 86.62%
Period 12 PPM 88.68% MAA 86.66%
Period 11 PPM 89.86% MAA 86.63%
Period 10 PPM 80.00% MAA 86.61%
Period 9 PPM 78.07% MAA 86.54%
Period 8 PPM 75.22% MAA 85.96%
Period 7 PPM 87.82% MAA 86.71%
Period 6 PPM 87.54% MAA 86.96%
Period 5 PPM 87.58% MAA 87.39%
Period 4 PPM 88.31% MAA 87.56%
Period 3 PPM 90.57% MAA 87.82% MCV dvr shrts, sig & inf flrs (various)
Period 2 PPM 91.20% MAA 87.85% unit flrs, sig & inf flrs (various)
Period 1 PPM 91.33% MAA 87.67% unit flrs, tcf Hartford LNW, sig probs MT-MLD

Period 13 PPM 90.28% MAA 87.84% unit flrs (esp 142s), pax loadings (1604), line obstruction
Period 12 PPM 88.32% MAA 87.80% v windy (12/2/14), unit flrs, pax loadings, OHLE probs
Period 11 PPM 89.64% MAA 87.89% sig probs (esp pwr flr Longsight), pax loadings (1604/0717), unit flrs
Period 10 PPM 78.92% MAA 87.50% unit flrs (v poor), leaf fall (v bad), inf probs (various), pax loadings (1604/0717/Christmas)
Period 9 PPM 70.15% MAA 87.66% leaf fall (v bad), inf probs (mainly high winds), pax loadings (0717/Christmas Mkts), unit flrs
Period 8 PPM 71.17% MAA 88.83% leaf fall, unit flrs, sig probs (mainly tcf GBK)
Period 7 PPM 91.15% MAA 88.48% SRT issues, unit flrs, inf probs (various)
Period 6 PPM 92.80% MAA 88.32% – (nothing significant; a very good period)
Period 5 PPM 89.73% MAA 87.86% lightning strike MP signalling, unit flrs
Period 4 PPM 91.56% MAA 87.90% unit flrs, sig probs (mainly Deansgate Jn)
Period 3 PPM 90.93% MAA 87.50% unit flrs, sig probs (various)
Period 2 PPM 89.01% MAA 87.46% unit flrs, SRT issues, inf probs (various)
Period 1 PPM 93.37% MAA 87.81% unit flrs, SRT issues, sig probs

Period 13 PPM 89.87% MAA 87.83% SRT issues, unit flrs, sig probs
Period 12 PPM 88.90% MAA 88.08% SRT issues, unit flrs, inf probs
Period 11 PPM 84.62% MAA 88.39% SRT issues, inf probs (mainly cracked head defect EY2 pts18), unit flrs
Period 10 PPM 81.31% MAA 88.78% inf probs (mainly flooding Skelton Jn), SRT issues, unit flrs, pax loadings
Period 9 PPM 80.08% MAA 88.99% leaf fall, unit flrs, inf probs, dvr shrts, pax loadings
Period 8 PPM 86.07% MAA 88.96% leaf fall, unit flrs
Period 7 PPM 89.04% MAA 88.91% SRT issues, inf/sig probs (mainly flooding Skelton Jn)
Period 6 PPM 86.97% MAA 88.99% unit flrs, SRT issues, inf probs (mainly OHLE probs SPT)
Period 5 PPM 90.28% MAA 88.96% unit flrs, SRT issues, inf/sig probs
Period 4 PPM 86.58% MAA 89.12% pwr flr GBK, unit flrs, SRT issues
Period 3 PPM 90.56% MAA 89.43% SRT issues, unit flrs, inf flrs
Period 2 PPM 93.55% MAA 89.53% unit flrs, pax loadings, SRT issues
Period 1 PPM 93.44% MAA 89.44% unit flrs, MAN dvr shrts, tcf/cable flrs PLM-CUD

Period 13 PPM 93.26% MAA 89.32% unit flrs, pts 18 flrs EJ, MAN dvr shrts
Period 12 PPM 92.89% MAA 89.23% unit flrs
Period 11 PPM 89.48% MAA 89.34% unit flrs, NN single line flrs
Period 10 PPM 84.53% MAA 89.53% leaf fall, pwr flrs GBK, unit flrs
Period 9 PPM 79.92% MAA 89.52% leaf fall, dvr shrts, pwr flrs GBK, cows CUD
Period 8 PPM 85.45% MAA 90.01% leaf fall, pwr flrs GBK, dvr shrts, unit flrs
Period 7 PPM 90.04% MAA 89.56% inf flrs, dvr shrts, unit flrs
Period 6 PPM 86.56% MAA 89.99% lighting strike MT, dvr shrts, unit flrs, poss overrun
Period 5 PPM 92.23% MAA 90.58% inf flrs, dvr shrts, unit flrs, bridge 54 strike
Period 4 PPM 90.60% MAA 90.73% poss overrun, dvr shrts, cond shrts, pwr flr GBK
Period 3 PPM 91.91% MAA 90.93%
Period 2 PPM 92.32% MAA 91.03%
Period 1 PPM 91.71% MAA 91.19%

Period 13 PPM 92.12% MAA 91.35%
Period 12 PPM 94.36% MAA 91.57%
Period 11 PPM 91.91% MAA 91.33%
Period 10 PPM 83.94% MAA 91.16% tcf MT-MLD, pax ill CTR
Period 9 PPM 85.96% MAA 91.16% leaf fall, tcf MT-MLD, tcf CUD
Period 8 PPM 79.46% leaf fall
Period 7 PPM 95.88% MAA 91.48%
Period 6 PPM 94.16% MAA 91.09% pts flr HTF(E), DBS freight flr
Period 5 PPM 94.26% MAA 90.87%


Acronym Buster

cond – conductor
CTR – Chester
CUD – Cuddington
DBS – DB Schenker
dvr – driver
EJ – Edgeley Junction (just south of Stockport)
flr – failure
GBK – Greenbank
HTF(E) – Hartford East
inf – infrastructure
MCV – Manchester Victoria
MT – Mickle Trafford
NN – Northenden
pax – passenger(s)
PLM – Plumley
poss – possession
pts – points
pwr – power
shrt – shortage
SRT – Sectional Running Timings
tcf – track circuit failure

Please leave a comment

  1. The Chairman Says:

    Here’s some more detail on Periods 1-3.

    After the decline to an MAA PPM of 87.50% in Period 10, and an improvement to 87.84% in Period 13, Period 1 took us down to 87.67%, and Period 2 up to 87.85% and Period 3 slipped a little to 87.82%. A long way off the MAA of 91.57% achieved back in Period 12 of 2010/11 and not far off our worst in the last 5 years of 87.46% in Period 2 last year.

    Period 1 with a PPM of 91.33% was quite good, but last year’s Period 1 PPM was an excellent 93.37%, so that was always going to be hard to beat. The main factors this period for delay events were unit failures with 18 out of the 75 events which is about average for the line for a good month, and signalling problems with 13 events. The biggest contributor here was a track circuit failure at Hartford LNW leading to the rear of a freight train blocking the line for over an hour (a bit of a one-off!) and axle counter failures on the Mickle Trafford to Mouldsworth single line.

    Period 2 with a PPM of 91.20% was better than last year’s Period 2 of 89.01%, hence the slight rise in the MAA. The main factors were unit failures at 17 out of 87 events, again about average for a good month and signalling and infrastructure with 16 events at a variety of locations, many off the line.

    Period 3 with the timetable change was surprisingly good with 90.57%, though poorer than last year’s 90.93% leading the MAA to drop to 87.82%. The biggest factor was Victoria Driver Shortages at 15 out of 90 events and 602 out of 1363 total minutes. Thus, although the figures don’t look too bad, the passengers had a pretty poor time, especially with some of our busiest trains (1517 MAN-CTR /1704 CTR-MAN) being regularly cancelled. Unit failures were down to 10 events, the best we’ve had in a period since Period 6 last year. Infrastructure and signalling came in at 14 events, the biggest one being a signal failure at Slade Lane Junction and with most of the others being off the line.

    Our worst performing trains have again seen an improvement, leading to the poorest performers now being at weekends.

    In Period 3 the poorest performers were:

    – PPM 75%, 0659 (M-F) Chester-Piccadilly. AM peak congestion between Stockport and Piccadilly
    – PPM 75%, 0759 (M-F) Chester-Piccadilly. A regular wheelchair from Mouldsworth to Greenbank, plus the tail end of the AM peak between Stockport and Piccadilly
    – PPM 75%, 1658 (M-F) Stockport-Chester. Victoria driver shortages

    – PPM 50%, 2004 (Sa) Chester-Piccadilly. 2 unrelated items
    – PPM 50%, 1017 (Sa) Piccadilly-Chester. 2 unrelated items
    – PPM 50%, 2017 (Sa) Piccadilly-Chester. 2 unrelated items
    – PPM 50%, 0840 (Su) Wigan Wallgate-Chester. 2 unrelated items
    – PPM 50%, 1005 (Su) Southport-Chester. 2 unrelated items
    – PPM 50%, 1405 (Su) Southport-Chester. 2 unrelated items

  2. The Chairman Says:

    I’ve updated the performance figures to the end of Period 9 (6 December 2014).

    Performance has continued to deteriorate made worse by a dispute with the drivers. I understand this was resolved on 8 December such that rest day working is now reinstated.

    Northern has recently assigned extra resource to sort out poor performance, especially in “Manchester South” which includes the Mid Cheshire Line.

    The current main problems being focussed on are:
    – passenger loadings. These continue to rise, causing stations delays due to the small trains used (and also causes a lack of revenue collection)
    – the tight timetabling between Stockport and Piccadilly in the Manchester direction. Any late running in the morning and evening peaks seems to lead to disruption, this regularly leading to 5-8 minute late arrivals for our trains into Piccadilly (and passengers being concerned about their connections)
    – awaiting despatch on platform 4 at Stockport. Virgin only use one member of staff to despatch trains to cover platforms 3 and 4. As our trains are often due out at 17 minutes past, the same time as a Euston-Piccadilly is due out of platform 3, a single despatcher cannot cover this on a timely basis when the trains are on time. This often creates 2-3 minutes delay causing our train’s slot into Piccadilly to be lost, and
    – the 1758 Stockport-Chester leaves platform 1 at Stockport, just after a Piccadilly-Crewe leaves Stockport. The Crewe is often a few minutes late, this leading to our service being late which then has the knock-on effect of being held at Edgeley Junction, and later on with the 1904 coming the other way between Mickle Trafford and Mouldsworth. The 1758 used to leave from platform 2, with the Crewe on platform 1. The reason for the change is being researched.

  3. Simon Barber Says:

    Regarding late running, is any attention being given to the scheduling of departures from Piccadilly platform 11? The single approach track shared by all of platforms 9-12 is a regular problem. I’m reminded of this having travelled on the 1517 today. It was ready for on time departure at 1517, but left Piccadilly 6 min late waiting for the green signal, and arrived at Chester 5 min late (so will count as late, all caused at Piccadilly). I don’t think this is unusual.

  4. The Chairman Says:

    I’ve updated the figures to the end of Period 12 (28 February 2015).

    There has been a slight recovery in the figures with the MAA moving up to 86.66%.

    The main problems I noted above on 8 January still continue. Northern have two members of staff who are “new” to the line looking into this continuing below standard performance and what to do to fix it ….

  5. The Chairman Says:

    I’ve added the Period 13 figures taking us to the end of 2014/2015 (31 March 2015).

    Period 13 had a slightly poorer performance than the same period last year. The MAA seems to have plateaued in the mid 86% area.

    Northern now have a new member of staff in the performance analysis team, a driver who had to stop driving on health grounds. His detailed knowledge of operations should prove useful.

    The main problems noted in my January comment continue as the main problems.

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