2010 Profits for Network Rail surpassed £2 billion last year amid inflation-excessive fare rises and extra delays.

The announcement of the operator’s annual profits has drawn fire from numerous sources, not only in the wake of fare rises but also following its decision to axe thousands of jobs last year. Meanwhile, recently released figures show Network Rail’s on time rating fell from 91.5% in 2009 to 90.95 in 2010.

Officials downplayed controversy this week and attributed the hefty profits to its cost-cutting initiatives recently put in place rather than the rise in ticket prices – which to passengers passenger dismay were lifted past the rate of inflation and will be again next year. Season ticket holders for trains between London and Gravesend, Kent saw the fare bumped almost 13% to £3,768 from £3,340.

But over the year the organization managed to push its maintenance and operating costs down even further; the figure for such costs has dropped from £11.64 per train mile seen in 2005 to just £7.61 in 2011.

The news comes ahead of another fare rise set to go into affect in January, when passengers will see the rate of inflation plus an additional 3% tacked on to the current price of a ticket. The boost will mean a double-digit increase for millions of passengers.