Central Railway has started a procedure to swap rakes to maintain the punctuality of trains departing from their originating stations, a senior Railway official said today. He said that trains that come to Mumbai, called Up trains in railway terminology, are sometimes late and this, in turn, meant that they departed late as well, in the process affecting the punctuality of the network.
“Suppose a train coming from Varanasi is late by few hours and simultaneously a train coming from Patna has already arrived and it has few hours left before it departs. In this case, the train which was supposed to leave for Patna is run for Varanasi. When the delayed train from Varanasi arrives, it is run for Patna,” explained S K Pankaj, senior deputy general manager of CR. Indian Railways figures for the year 2017-18 showed that almost 30 per cent of trains on its network ran late.
This, officials said, prompted Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani to direct all zones to improve their punctuality. A senior CR official said that in the last 45 days, 140 trains had been swapped in this manner. He said that standardisation of train coach combinations had made most of the rakes identical and this had helped in the implementation of the train swap scheme. The official informed that CR had also requested the Railway ministry for a stand-by scratch rake for this purpose.