The Indian Railways plans to introduce the Hub and Spoke concept on its network in a gradual manner, the Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on 16th of September.
Part of the Zero Base Timetable overhaul, the Hub and Spoke could envision operation of multiple services between key junctions or ‘hubs’ at regular intervals. Passengers can then switch to other trains from such hubs to continue to their destinations, provided a connecting train is available. ... more...
Minister Goyal also noted that the Zero Base Timetable exercise includes rationalization of stoppages and trains “taking into account the demand, utility for the passengers and commercial viability.”
Zero Base Timetable
Indian Railways has begun an overhaul of passenger train schedules with the Zero Base Timetable project. Officials expect several operational benefits from the revamp. Key among them is segregation of freight and passenger traffic by separating movement into slots meant for each type of traffic. Also planned is the creation of maintenance time blocks when no train will operate on a particular section of track daily. This will remove hurdles faced currently in taking up maintenance of tracks that led to large backlogs.
Hub and Spoke Implementation
However, the hub and spoke model could result in the need to change one or more trains to get to the destination. In order to make this hassle-free, Indian Railways will have to simplify the process.
“The concept also entails provision of integrated ticketing, access for persons with disability, leisure facilities, check-in facilities, transfer/transit facilities, and amenities such as travelators, escalators, elevators etc., at identified stations designated as “hubs”,” the Railway Minister added.
The Hub and Spoke is a common model in the aviation industry. Small, low capacity aircraft are used by airlines to funnel traffic to the larger hubs from where regular services with large wide-body aircraft take them to the hub closest to their destination.
A similar model, if successfully implemented on Indian Railways, could result in operational efficiencies and savings for the organization.
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