MobiPulse: your punctuality barometer for the morning and evening rush hours
On weekdays we publish MobiPulse, a punctuality barometer for the most important railway lines and train connections. This easy-to-read map is updated twice a day, at 11 am and 9 pm.
First and foremost MobiPulse shows the average journey time between 6 and 9 am (morning rush hour) starting from the 10 biggest train stations in Belgium (Namur, Liège, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai, Binche, Antwerp Central, Ghent St. Peter’s, Kortrijk and Hasselt) and arriving at Brussels Central. For the evening rush hour (4 pm to 7 pm) we apply the same principle in the opposite direction. As a cherry on the cake we share the punctuality rate on both axes for both the morning and evening rush hours.
Along with this information MobiPulse also gives you the average journey time for covering the same route by car during the same hours (in the morning from the center of these major cities to the center of Brussels and in the evening in the opposite direction). For this we use information from different real-time traffic applications. The map also contains other useful information, such as the cost and Co2 emissions for each journey. This way you get an idea of the various means of transport for commuters. Finally MobiPulse gives you the main causes of the train delays incurred on the entire Belgian railway network.
Now tell us, isn’t this a helpful tool for your commute? You always have a clear overview of train traffic punctuality during the morning and evening rush hours!
How do we measure punctuality?
We register every delay that occurs on the Belgian rail network with the associated causes. But how exactly do we measure and calculate punctuality?
We record the punctuality of domestic traffic in the final station and – if the train rides through the Brussels North-South connection – in the first station of the North-South connection on their route. For a train from Ostend to Eupen that means readings in Brussels-South and in Eupen. As soon as a train is delayed by six minutes or more, we regard it as “not on time.” In other words: the general punctuality figure represents the percentage of trains that were less than six minutes late at their final destination. And – whenever applicable – in the first station of the North-South connection on their route.
We also measure punctuality according to these two parameters:
- The number of passengers on board the trains: for example, the delay of a full train during rush hour carries more weight than that of a partially full train during off-peak hours.
- The punctuality during the entire train journey. This measurement is done at 95 strategic measurement points on the network. Was a train delayed along the way? This parameter also takes this into account, even if the train succeeds in eliminating that delay and arriving on time at its destination. So a train from Ostend to Eupen is also logged in Bruges, Ghent, Leuven and so on.
Neutralization of punctuality
As a government-owned company, we have a management contract with the federal government. According to that agreement we also release another punctuality figure. One that doesn’t take into account delays due to external factors, such as vandalism and major investment works (such as the RER). Such delays are beyond our control and will not be penalized.
This neutralized punctuality figure is a kind of tool with which we and the operators can draw up our own balance sheet. Do you want to get a global picture of the general punctuality, regardless of the causes? Then be sure to view the punctuality figure without neutralization.
Who is responsible for delays?
As an independent infrastructure manager and manager of train traffic, we assign the causes of delays to various parties: Infrabel itself, a railway company or third parties.
Does a party not agree to take responsibility for a delay? Then we call in our neutral mediation service.
We also list all canceled trains. This category includes trains that have not left or that only partly covered their itinerary. And of course we always state the reason for the cancelation. Finally, every month we pour all our detailed punctuality figures and statistics into a report for all rail operators.