Indian Railways zero-based timetable: Travel time in long-distance trains to reduce! Check details

Once Indian Railways introduces its “zero-based timetable”, the travel time in long-distance trains will drastically reduce between 30 minutes and six hours on an average. Recently, Chairman and CEO of Railway Board VK Yadav said the national transporter will introduce the timetable once the COVID-19 situation stabilizes. The timetable works on premise that every train’s existence and halt at stations must be justified based on goals of offering transportation with optimum as well as efficient utilization of the available resources, he was quoted saying in a PTI report. According to Yadav, the purpose is to increase poorly-patronized trains’ occupancy and to reduce waitlisting in those trains which have high demand. Besides, the speeds of trains will also increase under this timetable.

Under this timetable, no halts/stoppages will be done away with but they will merely be rationalised, according to the Railway Board Chairman. At present, Yadav said that “professional studies” are being carried out to see which trains and halts are required to be rationalised, which trains are to be merged. He further said that things are still being finalized, assuring the public that they will not be inconvenienced in any way. Due to the novel coronavirus crisis, the national transporter was operating just 50 per cent of its total fleet at the moment, he said.

As of now, Indian Railways is operating as many as 908 express or mail trains as compared to 1,800 trains pre-coronavirus pandemic, Yadav said. He further mentioned that as of now, 20 special clone trains are running on the routes with higher demands. In addition, a total of 566 train services were run as festival special trains between October 20 and November 30. In the month of July, 238 Kolkata Metro services were started, while in November, 843 services of suburban services were started. As of now, 2,773 Mumbai suburban train services were being operated, Yadav added.

According to the report, 460 out of the 908 trains that are currently running, are running with an occupancy of 100 per cent. While 400 trains are running with occupancy between 50 per cent to 100 per cent, 32 trains are running with less than 50 per cent occupancy and 16 trains are running with an occupancy of less than 30 per cent.