Train operator GNER issues radio-controlled watches to 1,000 frontline staff

Rail workers are being given new watches in a bid to make more trains leave on time.

Staff at train operator GNER will each be handed a radio-controlled watch. The new watches receive a time signal generated by an atomic clock once a day and adjust themselves accordingly.

The company is issuing them to about 1,000 frontline staff, including drivers, on-train crews and train despatchers, in a new drive to get more trains running on time, called This Time, It’s Personal.

The latest performance figures for railway companies show GNER has some room for improvement with 82% of trains leaving on time.

Ken Groundwater, GNER’s performance delivery manager, said: “Research showed that old watches used by train despatchers could vary by up to 90 seconds.

“This is not acceptable if we are to run our railway with the precision of the Japanese or the Swiss. With the new watches, everyone from Inverness to King’s Cross can be absolutely confident that we are all working to the same time.”

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