Despite a heavy and prolonged monsoon, the Indian Railways have managed to improve punctuality performance for passenger train services in the current financial year up to September 2019.
Overall, the network improved punctuality by 7.2% to 74.21% over the same period last year, according to IR data.
The improvement is despite prolonged disruptions caused by excessive rains this season. Several incidents of flooding and washing away of tracks at various locations have resulted in cancellation, short-termination of trains in several zones this year for days at a stretch.
However, the performance is lower than the target of an average 75% punctuality set by the Railway Board.
Wide Variations in Zonal Performances
The highest improvement was shown by Northern Railway (NR). Performance improved by 14.8% from a low base of 56.28% from 2018-19 to 71.1%. Despite this, NR still fell short of its target of 75% by a slight margin.
North Central Railway (NCR) has shown the second-best improvement, up 10.7% to 58.3%. However, NCR had the lowest punctuality performance across IR at 47.6% in 2018-19. So far, the zone has missed its target of 70% by a significant margin.
Similarly, South East Central Railway (SECR) and Southern Railway (SR) have improved their performance by 11% and 9% respectively.
On the other hand, zones like South Western Railway (SWR) and Central Railway (CR) have shown a slight decline in performance over 2018-19 averages. They are down by 7.6% and 3.3% respectively.
Overall, Western Railway has the best punctuality performance at 91%, followed by North Western Railway at 88% and Southern Railway at 82.5%
NCR, East Central Railway and SECR rank at the bottom of the table, with scores of 58.3%, 67.7% and 69.2% respectively.