With a vision of making Railways a preferred mode of transport with the people at large, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal has planned a multi-pronged scheme that will make tardy trains a thing of the past.
With a new and innovative time table that comes into force from today, the Indian Railways promises to cut short the running time of more than 600 trains quite dramatically.
The new time-table released shows that from 1 November 2017, more than 600 trains will run faster, substantially reducing the journey period of a passenger from anywhere between one to six hours.
The volume of passengers carried daily is about 2.22 million. “Innovative time tabling is one of the strategies adopted to speed up the trains…..This exercise involved planning and charting of trains afresh. By charting these trains at maximum permissible speed, cutting on the duration of the existing halts and by leveraging advantages accruing due to improved infrastructure including tracks, signalling and rolling stock the running time has been curtailed,” said a senior official.
As a result of this exercise, 51 trains will see a reduction in running time between one to six hours while more than 600 trains will see their journey time cut up to an hour.
Moreover, the Railways has proposed to introduce six new Humsafar Express trains, increase the frequency of two existing such trains, introduce four new Antyodaya Express trains in the new Time Table to meet the aspirations of the local people and provide connectivity to the new areas.
These new services will be in addition to the 10 Humsafar Express trains, seven Antyodaya Express already running on the Indian Railways, officials said. Besides, 19 trains have been extended and nine trains whose frequency has been increased are also included in the new time table.
Indian Railways runs about 3,525 reserved express trains which include Gatimaan Express, Rajdhani Express, Humsaafar Express, Tejas Express, Duronto Express, Antyodaya Express, Garib Rath Express, Shatabdi Express, Sampark Kranti Express, Yuva Express, Janshatabdi Express and other types of trains. This is in addition to about 4,600 Passengers and 5,000 EMU trains.
Officials said that after a review of rakes at destinations it was noticed that rake utilisation can be further improved and that rakes of some trains which were idling at the terminals can be utilised for providing new services, extending existing services and increasing the frequency of some trains.
As of now, the Railways has started nine new services, extending 11 trains and increased frequency of four trains using the lie over rakes. Then on the production of rakes, which is a continuous process on Indian Railways, the production programme for the current year will include about 10 rakes of Humsafar express. Six rakes of Antyodaya Express are also planned for production.
In order to provide sufficient time for the maintenance of the fixed infrastructure like track structure, signalling gears, overhead equipment, the Railways has planned to ensure provision of fixed corridor blocks.
The duration of these corridors blocks will be from two to four hours. This will not only improve passenger safety but also improve punctuality of trains through enhanced reliability of assets.
The Railways is also making concerted efforts to standardise the rakes by integrating the rakes links. It has also standardised the composition of the rakes by amalgamating the rakes. This will lead to further improvement in rake utilisation, improving punctuality, minimising rescheduling of trains and saving of slots in the washing pit lines.
The overall earnings of Indian Railways will improve due to better raked turnaround and improved flexibility of train operations. According to officials, a total of 893 out of 2,717 rakes have been standardised and integrated and they are making efforts to further increase the number of such rakes.