The proportion of trains which are cancelled or significantly delayed has increased by almost two-thirds year-on-year, Network Rail's latest figures reveal. But in most cases you can claim at least a partial refund if your train arrives more than 30 minutes late.
Virgin Trains East Coast - which covers the route between London King's Cross and Scotland - topped the table for major delays, with around one in eight trains either cancelled or significantly late. But almost every UK train operator has seen a decline in punctuality compared to last year, with the overall proportion of trains that have been cancelled or significantly delayed increasing from 2.6% to 4.2%.
Trains are considered 'significantly delayed' if they arrive more than 30 minutes late. See our Train Delays guide for your rights and how to claim.
Here's how the train companies compared:
|Train operator||Aug-Sept 2015||Aug-Sept 2016|
|Abellio Greater Anglia||2.1%||3.4%|
|Arriva Trains Wales||2.3%||2.3%|
|East Midlands Trains||2.4%||2.2%|
|First Hull Trains||4.7%||11.2%|
|Govia Thameslink Railway (incl Southern)||4.5%||9.0%|
|Great Western Railway||2.2%||4.5%|
|Stagecoach South West Trains||2.5%||2.8%|
|Virgin Trains East Coast||5.6%||12.4%|
|Virgin Trains West Coast||3.1%||6.5%|
|TOTAL ACROSS ENGLAND & WALES
Table from Network Rail. More figures can be found on Network Rail's website.
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Virgin also falling short on overall performance
Network Rail has also published the results of its Public Performance Measure (PPM). This looks at the proportion of commuter trains which reach their final station within five minutes of the time they were scheduled to arrive, and the proportion of long-distance services which arrive within ten minutes.
Virgin Trains East Coast came in the bottom three in the PPM rankings, with just 77.3% of its trains meeting the performance standards. This was marginally above Govia Thameslink Railway, with 74.2%, and First Hull Trains, with just 73.2%.
Merseyrail did best in the performance league overall, with 95% of its trains meeting the standards.
The most common reason train operators gave for delays was 'infrastructure' (this includes engineering works, broken tracks and signal problems), with most delays attributed to Network Rail rather than the individual train operators.
How to claim if you're delayed
If your train is cancelled or arrives more than 30 minutes late then in many cases you should be able to claim compensation, although the specific rules for train delays vary because each individual train operator has its own refund policy (see a full list of train firms' polices).
For full information about how make a claim and your legal rights check out our Train Delays guide.
What does Network Rail say?
A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “The investments we have made in recent years through our railway upgrade plan means the railway is much more reliable now than ten years ago. However, it is also much more congested now than ever before. This means when there is an issue, however small, the ripple effect is much greater.”
We've contacted Virgin Trains for a comment and we'll update this story once we hear back.