For private passenger trains, 15-minute delay in arrival is loss of punctuality

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on September 23, 2020 Published on September 23, 2020

A file picture of the IRCTC-run Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express, India's first ‘private’ train   -  Nand Kumar

Private operators have their task cut out on punctuality and reliability

Guaranteed punctuality and reliability are two key performance indicators for private passenger train operators and non-compliance will allow Indian Railways to claim damages.

If the arrival of a train at the destination railway station is delayed by more than 15 minutes, it would be deemed to have lost punctuality.

The private operator shall ensure that the punctuality of each train in a year should be at least 95 per cent. This will be worked out on the number of times a train loses punctuality divided by the total number of services operated by that train in a year.

For every 1 per cent reduction in the punctuality of a train as compared to the guaranteed punctuality by the operator, it shall pay to the government indexed haulage charges for 200 kilometers as damages, according to a government document reviewed by BusinessLine.

The private operator picked by the government is mandated to pay haulage charges based on distance travelled by the trains, to the Indian Railways for using its network, including track and signalling systems.

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If a train arrives at the destination station at least 10 minutes in advance, the operator will pay an incentive in the form of indexed haulage charges for 10 kilometers to the government.

But, if a train loses punctuality and the operator fails to meet the guaranteed punctuality over a period of one year due to reasons solely attributable to the government, then for every 1 per cent reduction of punctuality of the train as compared to the guaranteed punctuality, the government will pay indexed haulage charges for 50 kilometers to the operator.

In the event of cancellation of a train service due to the reasons attributable to the operator, he shall pay to the government one-fourth of the haulage charges as damages. If a train is cancelled for more than 30 days in a year for reasons attributable to the operator, he shall pay full haulage charges for such train service as damages to the government.

If a train service is cancelled for reasons attributable to the government, it shall pay to the operator one-fourth of the haulage charges as damages.

However, a train service cannot be cancelled if the delay in departure from the originating station due to reasons attributable to the government is within 15 per cent of the total travel time of such service or two hours, whichever is higher.

If the departure of a train from the originating station is delayed, such train shall be run as a rescheduled service with total journey time not more than 110 per cent of the scheduled journey time.

If the loss of punctuality of a train has contribution from both the government and the operator, the loss of punctuality shall be treated on account of the party having more than 70 per cent contribution in the total loss of punctuality of that train.

Neither the government nor the operator is liable to pay damages if the loss of punctuality of a train is due to bad weather, cattle run over, human run over, law and order, public agitation, miscreant activity, accident, heavy traffic at level crossing gates and operation of passenger alarm system.

The operator will also have to assure a guaranteed reliability of one lakh km for each train.

For every 10,000 km reduction in the guaranteed reliability of each train, it shall pay 0.25 per cent of the haulage charges in a year as damages to the government.

The reliability of the fleet will be computed by dividing the cumulative distance travelled by all the trains in the fleet in a year by the aggregate number of failures of all the trains in the fleet.

If the reliability of the fleet is below 50,000 km over a continuous period of three years from the start of commercial operation date, it will be treated as an event of default by the operator, the document revealed.


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Published on September 23, 2020
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