Railways have improved the overall punctuality rate after improvisation on the Ghaziabad- Mughalsarai route, with mail and express trains improving their performance by over four percent to clock 80.83 percent punctuality during April-August.
The overall punctuality rate of the railways has increased to 82.09 percent in August from 81.62 percent in the corresponding period last year.
The punctuality performance of mail/express trains during April-August this year was 80.83 percent as compared to 76.66 percent for the corresponding period last year, an increase of 4.17 percent.
Besides, the punctuality rate of local trains between April and August this year was 77.45 percent as compared to 73.99 percent for the same period in 2015.
The overall punctuality rate has improved because of a series of steps being undertaken for improvement in the 761-km-long Ghaziabad-Mughalsarai route, said a senior Railway Ministry official of the Mobility Directorate.
Flooded with complaints of late-running of trains, railways has created a Mobility Directorate to improve punctuality in passenger service and speed up freight movement.
The busy Ghaziabad-Mughalsarai corridor, which includes the Allahabad junction, involves movement of 120 trains in a day. Other important railway stations in this route are Aligarh, Moradabad, Tundla, Bareilly, Etawah, Kanpur Central, Lucknow, Mirzapur and Varanasi.
Though there are many factors affecting punctuality like over-saturated route with maximum train movement, technical glitches and asset (engine and coach) or traction failures, judicious steps are being taken to decongest the route as well as improving assets, said the official.
Broadly, trains lose punctuality due to factors related to its internal working as well as external factors of which railways is not in control of.
Other than asset failures, various constraints /difficulties which adversely affect punctuality are numerous, such as line capacity constraints on account of increasing passenger and freight traffic, adverse weather conditions (fog, rains, breaches), intermittent natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, heavy rains; heavy road traffic at level crossing gates across the rail network.
Law and order problems, including public agitations and bandh calls in left wing extremism-affected areas, miscreant activities such as theft of railway assets, mid-section run over cases involving cattle and humans also cause delays in train operation.
Punctuality performance of mail/express trains, particularly those traversing through quadrilateral routes such as Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai corridors have been adversely impacted as these sectors are facing severe capacity constraint due to saturated line capacity.
These routes are also intensely being used for carrying freight traffic including raw materials, coal for power generation needs, petroleum products, food grains, fertiliser, steel and export oriented container traffic.