Typically how far past schedule will Superfast train run?

#1 Nov 19th, 2007, 09:43
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  • Edor is offline
#1
While I have a specific question I expect that others can get an idea from this specific train on how likely the train is to run past its scheduled timings.

I have a plane to catch out of Kolkata at 11:55 and the train I'm planning on taking is scheduled for arrival at 4:00. I figure even if it is 4 hours late, I should be able to get to the airport by 9:30. However it seems that even Superfast trains often run considerably late. This is for travel at the end of January as I expect that on schedule performance might vary with the season.

I plan to take this Superfast train on a Friday from Gaya to HWH Junction(in Kolkata). Train is #2308 JU HWH Superfast originating from Jodhpur at 19:45 the previous night and scheduled to reach Gaya at 20:30 and then Kolkata (HWH) at 4:00 on Day 3.

It is 1,356 KMs to Gaya and a total of 1814 KMs to Kolkata.

1) Typically how late would one expect a Superfast train for this route and this distance to be getting to its destination? (Today it looks like it will be 2.5 hours late and it has somewhat less than 50% of the route to go.)

2) On the day of travel, I plan on tracking the train online to see for example when it gets past Agra Fort or Fatehpur to see if I might be in trouble. When a Superfast train is late say 2 hours during its first 900 KMs, how likely or unlikely is it that it will make up anytime in its schedule later on? I am tentatively assuming that if it is 2 hours late during the first half of its run it will be an additional 2 hours late (total of 4 hours) for the entire run. I know that the rate of travel of a train is probably not constant and that parts of the route are more or less likely to add to delay. Just looking for some way to gauge whether I should put some kind of contingency plan into action by early afternoon in Gaya. Of course I'm sure that someone will suggest getting to Kolkata a day earlier and that might be what I decide to do, however it is not my preference at this point.

Thanks for any advice. I would expect that this is vital information for others and again I'm sure that the advice has already been given (don't expect India to work like clockwork). And that is why I go but it has been years and I don't recall how late trains might typically be and for prior trip I had 3 months and schedule was never tight.

Edward
#2 Nov 19th, 2007, 21:40
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#2
To my experience, Express trains (other than ones that have over-frequent official stops), arrive at their final destination within about an hour late. Or less. Often they can catch up on their final leg (between second-last stop and final destination), if they have run late much before. But it also can happen, that a train loses its priority status, if it runs too much late. Then even a Rajdhani (fastest trains running from Delhi to state capitals or other important cities) can be downgraded to wait every few miles or so.

To be honest, I think you are taking a risk, as you have to catch an international flight within hours after arrival of your train. I would never do that. An Indian train journey can get on your nerves, if you do not have all the time it may need. (Well, what I have heard, even an American train can do that to you )

Even Superfast is not that fast. It just means it does not have frequent official stops.

What do you lose if you came a day earlier? You would gain a decent sight-seeing day in Kolkata, which is more than worth it.
#3 Nov 19th, 2007, 21:50
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#3

Thanks Atala

Atala ... thanks for information and suggestions. It seems that this superfast train is typically 2.5 hours or less late. If it is a typical day I will have 3 hours to get to the airport so might take this risk. But might also consider getting to Kolkata the night before.

Edward
#4 Nov 19th, 2007, 22:10
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Since I always travel on the fastest trains available between important stations, my experience is not applying to your choice and circumstances.

I have seen your Kolkata thread and would sincerely recommend you to travel the day before. It is almost a shame to have only so few hours to see Kolkata, and that early in the morning when no one is up and around. You miss the main attraction, the people of Kolkata.
#5 Nov 20th, 2007, 00:14
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#5
Namaste All,
To get a good idea of how late my train will be, I find this site really useful :

http://www.erail.in

On this site you can see at what time "your" train actually arrived at any given station in the past 5 days. All you need is the train number or station codes.

Enjoy !
#6 Nov 20th, 2007, 01:11
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#6

Great website, good suggestion Kandoma, thanks

This is a very helpful website you suggested and I find it much easier to use than IRCTC for Train Inquiry and how a train actually did in relationship to its schedule. Good detail, and you can see some history of the train's performance from prior days.

There is so much vital things to learn about the India rail system as well as stuff that is just fun and potentially useful to know.

Edward
#7 Nov 20th, 2007, 12:44
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Well reading on this forum and playing with the http://www.erail.in website which gives good recent historical performance of any particular train has taught me a lot. It has answered some of my initial questions.

Also found a post by Steven that said something like for long haul trains (I guess he means those traveling at least 24 hours from origination station to termination station) that a beginning rule of thumb is figure that the train will typically be 10-15% behind schedule. Of course many other factors come into play e.g. what priority does this train have? How much of the route is single track? Are there significant weather factors that may be operative e.g winter fog in parts of the north?


I also realize that a train being behind and running slow can actually be an advantage e.g. A train that is scheduled to arrive at 20:10 and scheduled to take 5.5 hours to get to where you plan to get off at a scheduled 4:00. If it actually arrives at your station two hours late at 22:10 it might be easier to fall asleep immediately upon boarding and if it end up taking 6.25 hours rather than 5.5 hours, the extra time for sleep might be welcome. In this hypothetical example the arrival would then become 6:45 rather than the scheduled 4:00 which might also be an advantage.

Well probably more than enough from me on this topic.

Edward
Edward

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