Suburban commuters on the Western Railway (WR) have all the reasons to grumble about delayed train services, as the punctuality of suburban trains has dropped by 7%, when compared with past two years. In 2014-15, the punctuality of suburban trains on WR suburban section was recorded at 95.9% while by December, 2016, it dropped to 88% which is way below the railway board’s benchmark of 95%.
“It is true that suburban services are running late in the past few months, this was also admitted by railway officials following the zonal railway user’s consultative committee (ZRUCC) meeting last week. They blamed the delays on increased failures, the halt at Ram Mandir station and the newly introduced 15-car train,” said Kailash Verma, ZRUCC member.
Till now, the Central Railway has been known for poor punctuality. It has been struggling to meet the 95% benchmark, since 2012-13. However, increased technical failures and delay in infrastructure work is affecting WR services too.
“The railways cannot do anything about the new halts but they can at least reduce the technical failures through maintenance work,” said Rohit Palav, Borivli resident, who complained about delayed trains during peak hours.
When contacted, Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager ofWestern Railway, Mumbai division, said, “Punctuality for suburban and long distance trains is calculated differently, so will have to check in if they are really affected or not.”