Network Rail have posted better than expected profits for the first six months of the year, despite concerns over failed performance targets and delayed trains. The owner of Britain’s railways recorded profits after tax of £573m, up from £136m in the same period the year before. At the same time the company’s debts grew from £27.2bn to £28bn due to increasing investment in its network.

The news comes as the Office of Rail Regulation has said it is “increasingly concerned” about the punctuality of trains on Network Rail. Regulators already took action against Network Rail in January for persistently failing to meet punctuality targets over long distance journeys, and if these do not improve by the end of the financial year, the company faces massive fines.

The Department of Transport recently announced a £9bn package to improve Britain’s ancient rail infrastructure that was first established in Victorian times. It is hoped this will help improve performance on the railways and ease the concerns of the network's regulator.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner