Each trip is recorded, with its start and end station, and the time down to the exact second, and can be viewed via the Myki web site. Over the past month or so (43 trips) I’ve fed this information into a spreadsheet, and compared it to the scheduled train times.
I’ve only included trips on the Frankston line (or to be precise, on the Caulfield lines), and also recorded the type of train, to see if the well-known Siemens braking problem (and subsequent speed restrictions when approaching stations with a level crossing beyond them) is affecting punctuality.
I subtracted a minute when calculating the difference between the scheduled time and the Myki touch-off time, because trains should not necessarily be expected to arrive right on the minute (and zero seconds), and because it takes a little while to alight from the train and get to the station exit. (There was only a single touch-off time that was less than a minute after scheduled train time.)
The times were further split into peak (which I decided meant into the city 7am-9:30am, out between 3pm and 7pm) and off-peak (all other times, including weekends) — the morning hours are slightly different from official definitions, but my view is the system is still quite busy between 9am and 9:30am.
Here’s the median figures (apart from the first figure which is the overall average):
The overall average figure of 5 minutes 20 seconds late underscores that the Frankston line continues to be the official worst for punctuality. The 12 month average of 69.6% arrivals within five minutes, compared to the network average of 86.0%.
23 out of 43 arrivals were 5 minutes or less late, making 53% meeting the loose government definition of “on-time”. It’s less than the 69.6% 12 month average figure, but most of my trips are in peak hour.
Peak (5:41 late) is clearly more problematic than off-peak (2:57), no doubt due to more passengers loading and unloading, and more congestion due to higher-frequency train services.
During peak, the Siemens vs non-Siemens issue does come into play to a certain extent, but perhaps not as much as one might think, at least not directly. This might be because there are a lot of trains running on the network, so even Comeng trains may be delayed due to Siemens trains.
The Siemens vs non-Siemens delays in off-peak (eg when passenger loading and network congestion is less likely to be an issue) does appear to be a notable problem, though the sample size (8 trips) is somewhat smaller, and may not be reliable.
The new timetable
The May timetable change includes putting Siemens trains on most Frankston line services, and adjusting the timetables to more accurately reflect their running times.
I assume that means some trips are going to get a bit longer, but the punctuality will improve.
After the change, I’ll have another go at tracking it to see how it’s gone.