Rail roundup

High speed trains celebrated their 50th birthday this week; Japan’s Shinkansen network started operation on 1 October 1964 and has carried over 10bn passengers since.

Network Rail missed the efficiency target promised for the 2009-2014 control period (CP4) by 8%, achieving 15.5% rather than 23.5%, the Office of Rail Regulation has said, though this was in part due to taking on extra work. Target for the next five years is a further 20% cut in costs.

London Underground is planning to introduce "driverless” trains to the Piccadilly Line in 2022 but initially they would still have drivers.  Only when entire fleets of old stock has been replaced by the new Priestman Goode fleet, unveiled this week, in the mid-2020s will trains begin running automatically without drivers though each would still have a member of staff on board.

The UK government is seeking buyers for its 40% stake in Eurostar to help boost the public finances. Its intention to sell was set out last year in the  Autumn Statement and National Infrastructure Plan. Government hopes to raise about £20bn from corporate and financial asset sales by 2020.

Transport for London is consulting on extending the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle station through Southwark towards Lewisham, Bromley and Hayes. It is considering two options for the tunnelled section between Elephant & Castle and New Cross Gate. Find out more here 

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled plans for a new Overground station at Old Oak Common in west London to connect with HS2 and Crossrail.

Remains of structures built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for his Great Western Railway have been unearthed near Paddington in west London as part of works for Crossrail. Finds include foundations of a 200m long engine shed, a workshop and train turntables. The structures were used for Brunel’s broad-gauge railway, which first ran steam trains through the area in 1838.

Nearly a third of rail passengers are unhappy with the way their train company deals with delays or cancellations, a survey has suggested. Passenger Focus's survey said rail customers found Twitter had better information than station staff.