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Faster, more punctual trains cheers! 10 facts from new Indian Railways time-table passengers should know

Devanjana Nag
railways

Trains at a Glance – know all about Indian Railways timetable 2019: Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has released its new All India Railway Time Table known as Trains at a glance (TAG), effective from 1 July 2019. In addition to this time table, all the 17 zones of the national transporter have also released their respective zonal railway time tables, effective from the same date. In all, there are 5 zonal time tables, each comprising 3-4 zonal railways. The TAG is now also available on Indian Railways' official website i.e. indianrailways.gov.in. The new time table includes various changes such as introduction of new train services, speeding up of trains, replacement of conventional passenger trains with MEMU/DEMU, etc. Here are some major highlights of the new time table that every Indian Railways passenger should know:

1. Proliferation of Vande Bharat Express trains: The Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi and Varanasi was introduced on 14 February 2019. The train has resulted in the reduction of travel time between both the cities by about 40%. Considering the overwhelming success of the train, further proliferation of Vande Bharat Express trains will be undertaken.

2. Proliferation of new train services: As on 1 July 2019, 1 Vande Bharat Express train, 2 Tejas Express trains, 11 Antyodaya Express trains, 34 Humsafar Express trains, 1 Uday Express train which already have been introduced have been incorporated in the new time table.

3. Maximize the utilization of rolling stock: A review identified that rakes of some of the trains were idling at the railway terminals. Some of these idle rakes have been used for providing 40 new services, extension of 21 services as well as to increase the frequency of 8 services. All these have been incorporated in the railways’ new time table. Also, to increase the carrying capacity, around 500 coaches have been permanently augmented in nearly 300 trains.

4. Corridor blocks: In a bid to provide sufficient time for the maintenance of the fixed infrastructure like signalling gears, provision of fixed corridor blocks, overhead equipment, track structure have been made in the Working Time Tables (WTTs) by rationalizing the timings of existing trains. In the new WTT, the zonal railways have incorporated traffic corridor blocks for duration of 2.5 to 4 hours. Additionally, in different sections of each Division, 5 to 6 hours mega block has also been identified for one day of the week (preferably Sunday) in order to carry out major maintenance works. All maintenance works in these mega blocks, including civil, over head traction (OHE), signal, telecommunication will be carried out by pooling of resources to achieve maximum output.

5. Efforts to improve punctuality of late running trains: The reasons for loss of punctuality for trains regularly running late have been reviewed and therefore, necessary changes in the new time table have been incorporated in order to improve punctuality. Also, spare rakes have been formed at crucial railway terminals to provide additional spare rake to replace the late arriving incoming rake. The move will make sure the right time start of the trains arriving late at major terminals.

6. Standardization of rakes: To improve flexibility in operations and punctuality, the rakes at various maintenance depots have been standardized by integration of the rake links. The move will lead in further improvements in rake utilization, minimizing rescheduling as well as saving of slots in the pit lines. Due to better rake turnaround and improved flexibility of train operations, the overall earnings of Indian Railways will improve. As on 1 July 2019, around 1,000 out of 2,700 rakes have been standardized/integrated.

7. Speeding up of trains: As part of Indian Railways’ Mission Raftaar, as many as 261 trains have been speeded up, by upto 110 minutes over different zonal railways, thereby providing a faster transit to the commuters.

8. Replacement of conventional Passenger trains with MEMU/DEMU: The railways is replacing the short distance passenger trains especially those having reversal en route by MEMUs (Mainline Electric Multiple Units) and DEMUs (Diesel Electric Multiple Units). In 2018-19, a total of 141 conventional passenger trains have been replaced by MEMUs/DEMUs, thereby increasing the overall mobility of the system.

9. Conversion of ICF rakes into LHB rakes: The LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches provide a more comfortable and safe journey as compared to ICF (Integral Coach Factory)-design coaches. At present, to improve the travel experience of passengers, as many as 411 pairs of important long-distance trains are running with LHB coaches by utilizing a total of 465 rakes.

10. Change of terminals of trains: The terminals of 12 pairs of trains have been changed in a bid to streamline train operations, by reducing criss-cross movement. Moreover, the movement of as many as 27 pairs of trains has been rationalized through adjacent/satellite terminals to obviate the need for the reversal of locomotives.