Train delays in Indian Railways are a common paint point for passengers. To improve punctuality of trains, Indian Railways says it has taken some important measures. Recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a reply on Quora mentioned some of the steps taken by his ministry to improve train punctuality. According to him, the dedication of Indian Railways to track renewals, block time for track maintenance and maintenance of rolling stock has led to a reduction in train accidents and fatalities. By following the mantra of “short-term pain for long-term gain”, with the investments made in safety, punctuality will be affected in the short run but on the other hand, the investments will ensure that there are fewer accidents that cause delays, in the long run, he has said.
Goyal stated that the national transporter is working hard to reduce the number of train delays. He mentioned that all Zonal Railways have been instructed by his ministry to monitor arrival and departure of trains with data loggers, which will help record data over time using both built-in and external instruments and sensors. At present, 41 railway stations across the nation use these devices. The system monitors the punctuality of 80 percent of mail/express trains. He added the goal of Indian Railways is to improve real-time monitoring as well as information processing of train movement in order to reduce train delays. The Real Time Train Information Systems, which are being implemented with the use of satellites, will help to ensure that passengers and station masters are informed in advance of any delays so that they can plan accordingly.
Goyal also stated that the national transporter is also ensuring track obstructions are reduced to aid in the faster movement of trains. To prevent cattle and people from disrupting train movements, the railways is cordoning off tracks, he mentioned. Further to this, he said that the elimination of unmanned level crossings will also help to enhance train speeds, which will subsequently reduce train delays.
According to Goyal, for trains to run smoothly and efficiently, better organisational capabilities are essential. Moreover, he stated that the railways is also ensuring that timetabling of trains is improved by reducing running times as well as by allowing for planned maintenance blocks. To make sure that sectional speed of trains is improved, he claimed that the railways has also fast-tracked all pending maintenance.
The Railway Minister said that the national transporter is building the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). Once the project is completed, the slow-moving freight traffic will shift from the existing lines. Moreover, the project will also help to minimize saturation on important routes across the rail network that cause congestion and disruptions. Additionally, higher speeds of travel and greater loading capacity will be ensured due to redesigned rakes and the utilisation of state of the art-technology, allowing longer and heavier trains to operate.