CHILTERN Railways has been named top English commuter and long distance rail operator for right time train punctuality for the second period running, according to research released by Network Rail.

The official rail industry figures, which are based on the percentage of services that arrive within a minute of their scheduled time, revealed that 85.2 per cent of Chiltern Railways trains were on time against a national average of 69.1 per cent, placing the train operator ahead of companies such as Virgin and East Coast.

It followed a busy Christmas period for the train operator, which reported a significant increase in its network on December 23 and 24.

Thomas Ableman, director at Chiltern Railways, said: “This run of performance reinforces how we are leading the way nationally when it comes to delivering an excellent service.

“Punctuality is incredibly important to our customers and we’re constantly looking for ways to make further improvements so that we continue to give our passengers what they want - a fast, flexible and reliable travel experience.”

A period is a term used across the railway industry to refer to a four-week time frame. There are 13 periods in a year.