Monday, May 16, 2011

Train Performance by Lines

The table below shows the past 12-month average train service performance by lines. The data are obtained from the Department of Transport's website, which can be viewed here. Service reliability is measured by the percentage of timetabled train services not delivered while punctuality is measured by the percentage of services arriving on time at destination. Train services are deemed as being on time if they are delivered between 59 sec early and 4 min and 59 sec late (Ref 1).

I have ranked the lines according to service reliability and punctuality, with 1 referring to the best performance up to 15, the worst performance.

Line
% services not delivered
Rank by Service Reliability
% of services on-time
Rank by Punctuality
Werribee
1.8
15
81.3
12
Lilydale
1.6
14
89.8
7
Frankston
1.5
13
69.2
15
Williamstown
1.4
12
92.1
4
Pakenham
1.4
11
72.6
14
Sandringham
1.3
10
90.3
5
Hurstbridge
1.1
9
90
6
Belgrave
1.1
8
88.7
8
Cranbourne
1
7
79.8
13
Craigieburn
1
6
85.6
11
Alamein
0.8
5
92.7
2
Sydenham
0.7
4
87.7
9
Glen Waverley
0.7
3
94.1
1
Epping
0.7
2
92.3
3
Upfield
0.6
1
86.9
10

As you can see, among the 15 metropolitan lines, the Werribee Line has the most number of services cancelled while the Frankston Line is the least punctual. The Werribee Line is also the 4th least punctual line while the Frankston Line is the 3rd most unreliable line.

If you look at Melbourne train network map, both Werribee and Frankston lines run along the coast, with Werribee Line along the southwest corridor and Frankston Line on the southeast corridor. Both were accompanied by the shorter and more aflluent Williamstown and Sandringham lines, which also run along the coast. Sandringham in particular is a great beneficiary in this timetable change, with trains now running every 6-7 minutes. According to the Passenger Impact Statement released by Metro, it is considered desirable to make the Sandringham Line independent from the rest of the network. Millions of dollars will be allocated to replace a level crossing in Brighton on the Sandringham Line, with an underpass for cars (Ref 2, 3).

The destinies of Werribee and Frankston are now more intimately linked together than before, thanks to the new timetable, which see both lines joined to form a cross-city service. Trains coming from Frankston to Flinders Street Station continue as Werribee trains to the west and vice-versa. Any delay or incidence on one line is bound to impact on the other line, if no other trains are being arranged to stand in for the late-running trains. If this is the case, we should see the performance of one line, closely mirroring that of the other line in the future.

It was suggested during the Altona Loop Community Meeting that was held tonight that Werribee and Frankston commuters should join forces to seek better train services, as both share the same destiny, faring the worst in train service performance among the metropolitan lines.

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