The Western Railway has identified trains that are consistently late and slow down other train services as well; steps are being taken to ensure these bad runners as they are called pick up the pace
It’s not just commuters that have been bothered by the Western Railway’s perennially late trains; for the past few months, the authorities have been studying the railway service and have identified trains that were consistently behind schedule, sometimes by as much as 20 minutes.
Some of the WR trains were running late by as much as 20 minutes before the authorities stepped in and took steps to ensure fewer delays. File pic
Since the beginning of the month, however, WR has been making efforts to ensure that these trains termed bad runners pick up the pace and claim the results are already beginning to show. There are 84 trains on the WR network that are used to run 1,306 services every day, carrying 37 lakh people.
However, due to major infrastructure work (one project was at Borivli and another is expected to begin soon in Andheri) there have been considerable delays in services recently. Since December, officials have been studying the daily train services between Churchgate and Dahanu and have noticed that 24 trains that were like a virus in the network.
Not only were these trains always late, they were slowing down the rest of the services as well. “We monitored the trains running on the fast corridor during peak hours. We realised that there were 24 such trains that are bad runners,” said a senior WR official on condition of anonymity. Of these, 14 start from Churchgate in the evening hours and 10 run towards Churchgate during the morning peak hours.
Sources said these problem trains were monitored between 7.40 am and 10.35 am and 6.30 pm and 8.25 pm. “We saw that these trains started more than 5-7 minutes late, and by the time they reached the destination, they were almost 20 minutes late,” said another WR official. In the morning hours, a majority of the trains starting from Borivli were running late, while in the evening hours, trains to Virar were exceptionally late by 15-20 minutes.
Fixing the time lag
Since the beginning of this month, WR has been rectifying the various faults that had led to the delays and has managed to improve its punctuality. While the maximum time lag was 20 minutes earlier, it has dropped to 10 in the past few weeks.
WR is trying to ensure that all trains maintain their schedule with constant monitoring from the control rooms and the main tower at Churchgate. Speed restrictions have been removed where applicable and attempts are being made to ensure that long-distance trains run on time, so that they do not affect into the timings of local fast trains.
Causes for delays
>> Technical faults
>> Repair or renovation work at stations or on tracks
>> Trains leaving after the scheduled departure time
>> Delays between stations
>> Unscheduled halts due to trains crossing tracks or waiting for a long-distance train to move