Indian Railways has set in motion a major exercise to cut down the journey time of hundreds of long-distance trains as part of its efforts to boost passenger satisfaction and to attain operational efficiency.
The rail network is in the process of "looking afresh" the present train timetable, which is over 120 years old, and reviewing other factors which cause unnecessary and avoidable delays.
"We are undertaking a Zero-based review of the timetable. We are starting on a blank canvas and reassessing the timings and other permanent and temporary speed restrictions" to cut down travelling time, a senior railway official said here.
Presently, permanent speed restrictions on old railway bridges and tracks, temporary restrictions like maintenance work and other operational reasons cost several hours of valuable travel time.
Now, the Railways is planning to scientifically analyse all these factors which cause inordinate delays using the "Zero-based policy" and the new reviewed timetable will come into effect from December one, he added.
"The time-table will undergo a major change which will result in cutting down of journey time from ten minutes to several hours. We will be trying to bring down operational stoppages," the official said.
The railways will review back-end activities like platform berthing, maintenance schedules, crew, locomotive and rake links as part of the exercise.
However, the official said the natural timings of the trains by and large would remain the same. "The trains would be selected on a case to case basis and justice would be done every section of the country," he added.