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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MBTA commuter trains meet on-time performance goals for October

Keolis Commuter Services, operator of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail system, finished the month of October with an unadjusted on-time weekday performance rate of roughly 90 percent.

The results were in line with the service improvement plan approved by MBTA and Keolis this summer. As part of the plan, Keolis pledged that trains would be on time 92 percent of the time on an adjusted basis, with no single month falling below 90 percent.

Additionally, October's results marked the best performance for that month in nearly a decade, Keolis officials said in a press release.

A significant number of delays for the month were caused by trains slowing down in response to slippery rail conditions. When adjusted for these and other conditions or incidents beyond Keolis' control, on-time performance (OTP) was 94.44 percent.

"We’re pleased to have delivered the strongest OTP for October since 2006, but we also recognize that these results don’t mean much to passengers who did experience delays this month for whatever reason," said Keolis Commuter Services General Manager Gerald Francis.

Last month's results also reflect a small decrease from September, when Keolis logged an unadjusted on-time performance rate of 92 percent. On an adjusted basis, September's on-time rate was 94 percent.

October and November are typically challenging months because falling leaves compact against the tracks and create slippery rail conditions, Keolis officials said. To combat this, the company's crews use high-power washer trains to clear the tracks and spread sand and a gritty silicon gel to keep the tracks safe.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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