A traveller perspective on railway punctuality: Passenger loads and punctuality for regional trains in Sweden

Ida Kristoffersson
VTI Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Roger Pyddokea
VTI Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

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Ingår i: RailNorrköping 2019. 8th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis (ICROMA), Norrköping, Sweden, June 17th – 20th, 2019

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 69:37, s. 565-578

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Publicerad: 2019-09-13

ISBN: 978-91-7929-992-7

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper examines the extent to which delayed trains are also trains with more passengers. The paper uses unique passenger load data about regional trains in Sweden and combines this with Swedish delay statistics for the same train numbers and from the same time periods. Results show that trains with high passenger numbers are not delayed to a greater extent compared to trains with fewer passengers. Train punctuality is thus a good indicator of traveller punctuality in this case. These results also suggest that long boarding and alighting times due to high passenger numbers are not a main cause of delays, possible causes of delays are instead external factors such as track maintenance or dense train movements. Therefore, this result suggests that policy makers should look further into the latter causes. Furthermore, the paper also compares the share of travellers and trains that are more than half an hour late, i.e. that are significantly late. These differences are also small but larger than for the less delayed trains. For one of the railway lines, trains with high passenger loads are more than proportionally hit by long delays. Such cases suggest that train control priorities could be re-examined with more focus on improving the service for railway travellers.


Train punctuality, Passenger load, Regional train, Train traveller demand, Delays


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