CFR Călători trains - delays of hundreds of minutes, but the management of the company does not assume them

George Marinescu
English Section / 23 ianuarie

CFR Călători trains - delays of hundreds of minutes, but the management of the company does not assume them

Versiunea în limba română

CFR Călători does not take the blame for the thousands of minutes of delay recorded last year for all the trains in the equipment and claims that most of the delays have a different cause than the fault of the company, according to a press release issued yesterday by the state railway operator.

In the cited document, the company's representatives claim that over 85% of CFR Călători trains in circulation (on average 1,100 trains/day) arrive at their destination without delays.

Although the quoted source states that last year the average delay on the CFR Călători train was about 8 minutes, the company representatives state that only 1 minute and 7 seconds represent the average delay on the train due to causes generated by the state railway operator, namely rolling stock failures that lead to temporary disruptions in the movement of trains.

The press release states: "The measures related to the scope of activity of CFR Călători regarding the prevention of the disruption of railway traffic consist of additional checks of the own rolling stock scheduled to carry out the transport, the provision of spare locomotives in the depots on the network within the limits of the traction technical park available, for situations of traffic disturbances due to the causes mentioned above, etc".

In that document, the company's representatives also identify the culprits for the delay of passenger trains: unfavorable weather, falling trees, lack of tension in the contact line, high temperatures in the rail, dense fog, broken rails and defective sleepers, natural disasters, railway events, theft of traffic safety equipment, hitting people, vehicles or animals, works on the railway infrastructure, restrictions and speed limitations imposed on the railway network managed by CFR SA - the administrator of the railway infrastructure, late arrivals of international trains at the border and the need to take over and ensure connections to trains in domestic traffic; breakdowns of rolling stock belonging to other rail freight and passenger operators leading to temporary disruptions in train traffic.

In other words, all of the above causes constitute a total average delay per train of approximately 6 minutes and 43 seconds, which should not be the responsibility of CFR Călători, according to company representatives.

The announcement from CFR Călători comes just one day after train IR 1630 on the distance Braşov-Bucureşti Nord-Constanţa, which also has carriages from Sibiu, left Braşov station 226 minutes late and arrived in Bucharest Nord with almost 200 minutes late. This event took place on Sunday morning, when in Braşov, at 7:40 a.m., and in the rest of the country, it was no longer snowing, it was clear, sunny, but the CFR Călători train was no longer leaving. So instead of getting on the IR 1630, some of the travelers chose to leave Braşov with the IR 1632 train, because they risked missing the flight from Otopeni airport. For those passengers, there was no apology offered by the CFR representatives, not even by the staff of the Northern Station upon arrival in Bucharest with IR 1632, on Sunday, around 12:00.

However, the management of CFR Călători boasts unprecedented performances. Thus, according to the cited document, CFR Călători transported 4.7% more passengers in 2023 than in 2022. Last year, 450 locomotives and railcars and 1,000 wagons were in circulation, company representatives showing that efforts are being made for them to be kept in circulation, the rolling stock being old and insufficient for market demand.

What company officials don't say is that some, if not all, of the 4.7% more passengers were transported standing, due to a lack of the necessary rolling stock, with most trains running three to at most four cars to destinations in country, the only exceptions being the trains to the sea in the summer season and the train sets made available to travelers on the occasion of religious holidays.

In the press release, the company also refers to the fact that last year

worked on expanding the services offered, perfecting the application for online purchase of train tickets by introducing a new facility - choosing the seat and carriage in which passengers want to travel.

The cited source states: "CFR Călători has constantly improved the products and services offered, in order to closely respond to travelers' requirements, and has come to meet the public with new safe, accessible and intuitive solutions, by providing passengers with rechargeable transport cards. And, subsequently, it offered the possibility of online purchase of monthly and weekly subscriptions in digital format. Also, passengers had the opportunity to opt for the issuance of the "Card TrenPlus" offer in digital format, on card type support".

What the company representatives do not mention is that until the end of last year, although they urged travelers to use the new card, none of the company's cashiers, whether we are talking about the ones in Buşteni, Sinaia, Mizil or Gara de Nord, did not know how to transfer to the system online the data from the old paper card to the new rail card. Digitization to be, but with trained employees, not with railway workers fumbling in front of the computer.

From the press release we also note that the current rolling stock of CFR Călători is insufficient for the current market demand, approximately 800 units and 250 electric frames are needed in addition.

Otherwise, good roads...