South Central Railway micromanaging operations for better functioning

The SCR goes through the data given by Passenger Profile Management Cell to decide on running special trains or adding extra coaches during increase in demand.  

The South Central Railway (SCR) would run 526 special trains this holiday season as against 498 specials that were operated during the same period the previous year.

And since it had to cancel 120 regular trains due to cyclone Fani, three special trains were run under its jurisdiction and another five from Visakhapatnam division to cater to the sudden rush of passengers.

Decisions such as these are taken only after a detailed analysis. And helping the railways plan for operating special train services to various destinations is the Passenger Profile Management Cell (PPMC). Each zonal headquarters is equipped with such PPMC and the SCR has a five-member team that functions from Secunderabad to look into the information on the demand for train services from passengers, analyse the data and come out with a report for necessary action by the higher-ups.

“We keep a close watch on the waiting list of various trains every day. The data is analysed class-wise, sleeper, 3AC/2AC and so on, before any action is initiated through commercial and operational departments. Running a special train or attaching extra coaches to the existing trains is based on the availability of trains and other logistics,” explains General Manager Gajanan Mallya.

The PPMC, which acts as a conduit between the commercial wing and the operations wing, dishes out a report by 10 a.m. every day. The planning has to be precise as the railway authorities cannot simply add coaches to the existing trains or straightaway run special trains without looking into platform capacity on the stations en route as some are equipped to handle only 18 coach trains, whereas trains towards major destinations like Delhi can have 24 coaches as they have longer platforms.

The SCR’s ever surging demand is on Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam route and even 15 daily trains to the coastal city is insufficient. Given this, the officials have a fair idea where the augmentation needs to be done based on the ticket trends available.

“It’s much more easier to run trains or attach extra coaches for services within the SCR as everything is under control. It becomes a bit more complicated when special trains or extra coaches have to be attached to trains that do not originate or terminate at our stations as coordination with other zonal offices becomes crucial,” say senior railway officials.

Without the PPMC’s data input, special trains with regular reservation coaches are not run unless it is for a pilgrimage.

And the SCR has been running more number of trains each year due to rising patronage – from 892 special trains and 10,830 extra coaches in 2016-17, it rose to 1,454 special trains and 7,237 coaches in 2017-18 and last year, it was 2,152 trains and 10,126 coaches.

Last year, the SCR moved 5.84 lakh passengers on special trains alone, of which 1.96 lakh passengers were moved during the summer rush, the officials add.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:45:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/micromanaging-operations-for-better-functioning/article27152895.ece

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