An attempt to create a zero-base timetable exercise for the Indian railways was made back in 2006. Nevertheless, considering the traffic situation and how challenging the task was technology-wise back, then it had to be discontinued. Only a few train schedules underwent minor alterations.
Objectives of a zero-base timetable
- Aims at increasing the train travel speed in the country.
- To organise consignment traffic as well as maintenance slots within a 24-hour period daily.
- Enhance the Indian Railways capacity utilisation.
- Integration of the 130 kph speed upgrades on various trunk routes.
- Segregation of consignment traffic and passenger traffic efficiently.
Zero-base timetable benefits to passengers and railway operations
- Journey time will be reduced for multiple trains which run on a higher maximum permissible speed.
- Unwanted stoppages can be removed, and the average speed can be improved.
- Terminal changes can enhance accessibility altogether.
- Extensions of trains can facilitate improved connectivity amidst existing services.
- A zero-base timetable can prove to help clear cobwebs, saving on slots, merging of train services into one, and could optimise schedules.
- Segregated traffic could result in improved track capacity usage.
How is the zero-base timetable being formulated?
The Indian Railways is performing a detailed review of all non-remunerative stoppages within the network to eliminate such kinds of stops for many trains. Passenger trains which commute 200 km and above are being upgraded to the mail/express category. For this category of trains, the stoppages will likely be removed. The train occupancy is being reviewed; there are plans to either merge services concerning multiple trains or terminate the badly patronized ones.
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