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Sunday, May 19, 2024

ORR publishes new track access dashboard to hold industry to account on efficient use of the rail network

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The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published, for the first time the track access dashboard, an overview of how passenger and freight train operators are using the capacity available across the GB rail network (access rights) and how effectively the rail industry is meeting timetabling timescales.

ORR has worked with the rail industry to make the data publicly available in one location. It aims to help the rail industry make more efficient use of the rail network and support how ORR holds Network Rail and operators to account for meeting timetabling timescales.

The track access dashboard shows that for the December 2023 timetable change, 25 new requests for access to the rail network were made, and 16 were submitted after the industry deadline for publishing the timetable.

Late submission of access applications reduces the time to analyse impacts and introduces the risk of the timetable performing poorly for passengers.

ORR’s dashboard shows that for the December 2023 timetable, industry planned to use 84% of the rail network capacity, based on the industry data provided.

The regulator now expects Network Rail, existing and new train operators, to use ORR’s dashboard to improve use of the rail network through more efficient and effective service planning, introducing new services or releasing rights where they are no longer required.

Stephanie Tobyn, director of strategy, policy and reform, said: “Efficient use of network capacity is important for an affordable railway and robust timetables are fundamental if passengers are going to be able to travel with confidence.

“We’ve worked with the rail industry to increase clarity and transparency in these important areas and in doing so, we’re supporting improvement in how rail network capacity is used and timetables are planned in the interest of passengers.”

Image credit: ORR

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