For some reason, while the government have been crowing about train punctuality this week…
— Terry Mulder (@TerryMulderMP) April 9, 2014
…they haven’t been talking much about Service Delivery, aka Cancellations.
I wonder why not?
Oh, could that be because it’s barely changed in 5 years?
There’s certainly been a lot of work on the train network, including more concrete sleepers and track relaying to prevent buckling, better air-conditioning in the Comeng fleet, and additional maintenance capacity.
But cancellations still hit the trains regularly due to other causes — including many this week.
And with more than 50,000 services running every month, even 1% of the timetable not delivered is a lot of cancelled trains, which of course happens most often in peak hours when the system is under stress, generally affecting a disproportionate number of passengers, and causing severe overcrowding.
Overall it’s about the same as it has been for years.
So yes, perhaps it’s not a surprise that they’re not talking about it.
- I deliberately left off a trend line, because one-off events such as the pre-Black Saturday heatwave skewed the result. If the data for Jan/Feb 2009 is removed, the Service Delivery trend is slightly down, but I don’t think this is a good representation of how things are tracking long-term.
- Other lowlights for Metro include February 2011 (major storms), and summer 2012-13 when there were a lot of stolen copper wire incidents, culminating in the February 2013 incident involving the bat.
- The upgrades to deal with heat can’t be over-stated. Lots of track has been re-laid, and air-con faults are now much rarer. I’d expect the resilience of the network in hot weather to be much better than it was pre-2010, though not perfect of course.