NEW DELHI: The railways has eliminated the practice of manually recording punctuality performance in 41 major railway junctions across zones to ensure correct reporting of such data, senior officials said.
The Railway Board had earlier issued instructions that zonal railways link the arrival and departure of trains from data loggers from January 1 in 34 such junctions without the "fear of drop in punctuality and report authentic punctuality status", officials said.
A data logger (also data recorder) is an electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either with a built in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors.
"Correct reporting of punctuality is essential for initiating improvement in actual running of trains and public perception about the railways.
it may be ensured that the train running status is correctly reported for all trains and necessary action be taken to ensure that there is no manual entry of timings at 34 locations mentioned.", the letter to all railway zones from the Board has said.
However, railway zones have managed this across 41 such stations which include Howrah, Mumbai CST, Mughalsarai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chennai Central, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
"This way we will get the actual reporting time of running trains.
These are major junctions and in many cases, there are two railway zones involved in the smooth running of the trains.
We have removed any manual intervention in these 41 locations, as a result of which preliminary data suggests an improvement in punctuality.
In fact, even time related public complaints have also decreased," an official said.
The punctuality data for these stations, officials say is still been collated.
The board has also said the criteria for judging punctuality performance of zonal railways will be based on grades instead of percentage.
Punctuality of more than 85 per cent will receive the grade A+, punctuality more than 75 per cent to 85 per cent grade A, punctuality of more than 60 per cent to 75 per cent will earn the zone B grade and punctuality less than 60 per cent will be given a C grade, the board's letter has said.
Punctuality of trains in fact has been the topic of an internal railway report which is now with the Board for perusal.
The report has also recommended that trains be graded to record their punctuality.
It has proposed that a long-distance train be marked excellent if it is less than 10 minutes late, very good if the delay is between 10 and 20 minutes and if the delay is between 20 and 40 minutes, the train is to be graded good on punctuality.
If the delay is more than 40 minutes but less than two hours, the grade is fair, the report has said.
If a train is more than two hours late, it will be graded bad on punctuality, as per the proposal.