Are the trains running more on time today than they were 10 years ago? They were 96.2% on time in the first six months of 2021, today they are 92-94%. «The most important change we witnessed was in June 2021 when electrification was activated in the Belluno – Conegliano section and direct connections with Venice were restored. We have encountered», admits Alessandro De Nardi, spokesman for the Belluno Trains Association, «a slight drop in punctuality, but this is amply compensated by the other advantages obtained: new and more comfortable trains, abolition of the time wasters of breaking loads in Conegliano, reduced distances and a number of direct journeys like never before».
For 10 years the volunteers of “TreniBelluno.it” have been monitoring compliance with the railway timetables. Here is the final balance for 2022 to date. Punctual trains have gone – summarizes De Nardi – from 96.2% in the first half of 2021 with exclusively Diesel trains, to 94.4% in the second half, to around 93 – 94% which it is the provisional annual data for 2022 ».
A few episodes in particular in the month of November had a negative effect, but it should not be forgotten that the total mileage of the trains has almost doubled and the greater the distance travelled, the greater the possibility of some hitches in railway traffic. “However, we are confident that action will be taken to improve, even with those structural interventions to accompany the electrification that we hope for, but of which we have no news”, underlines De Nardi.
It was November 27, 2012 when the Association – actually recognized as a real commuter committee – began systematic monitoring of the punctuality of regional trains: before then only a few sporadic annotations on the occasion of the most sensational disruptions. At the time work was underway on the reform of the regional railway timetable, the cadenced, and no data was disseminated by the Region or by the Railways, but the promise that it would change to improve. «Someone said that “if you can’t measure something you can’t improve it”; so we thought that it was necessary and useful to have a yardstick available between the old and the new, instead of relying on sensations, sometimes imprecise memories or political manipulations. With considerable effort, we have collected all the arrival times of the trains monitored every day thanks to Trenitalia’s Viaggiatreno service and field observations, considering the journeys arriving within five minutes of the scheduled time on time, the others delayed and those canceled in all or in part: less benevolent criteria than the official ones», reports De Nardi.
TreniBelluno began with all the trains that circulated between Ponte nelle Alpi and Conegliano, from direct to corsette: twenty-four runs every day in 2012, sixteen on holidays. Over the years, the survey has expanded to involve as many as ten railway lines. Currently there are four lines in the Belluno area, even beyond the administrative borders: from the capital of the Dolomites to Calalzo, to Venice via Conegliano, to Treviso via Montebelluna and from Montebelluna to Padua. Every week and every year the association publishes, always in a free and independent way, a summary of the data collected which shows the trend of the punctuality of the trains, allowing to note the trend of this important parameter of the quality of the railway transport service and therefore to judge the effects of the technical choices undertaken by the Railways and the Region. «And yes, it really has changed to improve».
Just think that in 2012 the trains of the Fadalto line had a punctuality of 70.4% and that 7.3% of journeys were cancelled. While waiting to obtain the updated data of the last year, in 2021 punctuality was 95.3%. «It cannot be denied that there is an enormous difference between today’s more regular and reliable transport service and the lottery of disruptions and abundantly missed journey times which until ten years ago took place to the detriment of commuters and travelers occasional”.