• Sweden edition
 
Train punctuality a matter of definition

Train punctuality a matter of definition

Published: 24 Feb 2013 11:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2013 11:08 GMT+01:00

In 2012, 97 out of 100 regional and commuter train departures were on schedule, compared to 87 out of 100 in 2011, according to the Swedish Transport Administration.

But the main reason behind the improvement seems to be that the Transport Administration changed the definition of delayed journeys.

Previously, trains that arrived five or more minutes late were recorded as delayed. Now, a train can be up to 15 minutes late without being counted as late.

While the Transport Administration previously claimed that the time limit was stretched in order to bring the Swedish definition in line with European measurements, it now admits that it was the result of a deal it struck with the train industry.

The Sveriges Radio (SR) programme Kaliber found that 15 minutes is, in fact, not a standard measure for counting train delays in Europe. Reporters confronted the Transport Administration's acting CEO Caroline Ottosson with their findings.

"About a year ago we and the train industry decided to report the number of trains delayed by 15 minutes," admitted Ottosson.

"Sweden is a big country," she explained. "Many trains travel long distances and so we have chosen 15 minutes."

In January, the Transport Administration reported that "punctuality in train traffic improved somewhat last year. New figures show that 96.9 percent of departures were on schedule, an increase by a few tenths compared to 2011."

And Sweden's Minister of Infrastructure Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd told Kaliber that "Statistically speaking we now have a punctuality rate that puts us at the top in Europe."

But while transport officials claim great success rates, Swedish travellers are not too impressed with train services.

In December 2012, a Swedish Quality Index (Svenskt Kvalitetsindex) survey showed that, out of all Swedish brands, rail operator SJ had the most dissatisfied customers.

Asked if the Transport Administration has tried to find out how travellers themselves would define delays, Ottosson said "that is a question we will address within the framework of our systematic efforts to improve punctuality".

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:01 February 24, 2013 by Mxzf
Noone that needs to be on time would take a train here, if there were any alternative at all.

Also, as a sidenote from Wikipedia:

"Japanese railways are among the most punctual in the world. The average delay on the Tokaido Shinkansen in fiscal 2006 was only 0.3 minutes. When trains are delayed for as little as five minutes, the conductor makes an announcement apologizing for the delay and the railway company may provide a "delay certificate" (遅延証明書), as no one would expect a train to be this late. "
13:31 February 24, 2013 by engagebrain
'Transport Administration changed the definition of delayed journeys'

Simpler than actually working hard to make trains run on time.

The Stockholm-Uppsala service is rubbish - and 15 minutes late on a 35-40 minute journey is substantial.

Trains are cancelled almost at random and even the tiniest layer of snow seems to be a problem. They have even cancelled the last train of the day without offering any alternative.
16:13 February 24, 2013 by johan rebel
The difference is huge. A fifteen minute delay is often sufficient for me to miss my connection, which results in a total delay of 1 or 2 hours, depending on when the next ferry leaves. So much for being "on time".

It is pretty obvious that Mussoline never ruled Sweden.
21:14 February 24, 2013 by Max Reaver
I totally agree with post #1. Having lived in Japan myself, if on the time table it says there are two minutes between two connections, you will have enough time to catch your trains. In Sweden it's not even sure with 15 minutes between two trains.

The Swedish railway system is pathetic, not only on matters of punctuality. In China, during one month around the Chinese New Year, the country's transportation has to move 2 billion people across the nation so they can reunite with their extended family over holidays. Most of them travel by train. Think about what kind of responsibility the government has. No matter what, the trains must run. I won't say you shouldn't criticize the Chinese government, as most ppl in west are indoctrinated to do. After first-hand experience of the transport-intensive one month, I'd say no democratically elected government so far has shown the same capability as the Chinese on this. The Swedish one has failed by far, every winter the trains stop and nobody takes responsibility. The Swedish minister of infrastructure has even hinted that ppl should celebrate Xmas with family another year. If a Chinese politician dares to say anything similar, there will be protests and riots in the streets. Here in Sweden, nothing.
00:16 February 25, 2013 by skogsbo
It's only a train journey, you're late for work, it doesn't matter, the world hasn't stopped turning, chill out. Japan has pumped billions into transport, would you really want their level of debt?,
11:15 February 25, 2013 by Max Reaver
So you are implying that Japan can get rid off their debt by turning their railway system into more Swedish-like? What a comedian. It's not only about getting to work late (which has been shown to affect productivity), the most annoying thing is not able to go home and left starving for hours on the commuter train. Obviously you never needed to commute between e.g. Stockholm and Uppsala, where thousands of ppl get stranded on a weekly basis as soon as snow touches ground. Next time I get stuck on a train, you give me your car keys and take my spot on the train.
16:21 February 26, 2013 by AquamanUK
I live in suburbs of London. When I moved to my home 5 years ago, the Scheduled time was 18 minutes to Paddington Station = all trains late = No season ticket discount.

The Next year, ALL trains were 23 minutes in time table for same journey - but still had a few delays.

Currently, the time table states THIRTY (30) Minutes for the journey - ie. ALL trains arrive ahead of schedule and therefore NO discounts. I am now paying 280% higher fare than when I chose my current home.

It is no longer economical to live where I live - compared to London prices when I have to pay £4500 per year for a Season Ticket!

It should also be noted, I was on a delayed departure from Paddingdon, 14 Minutes late departing, but because of the delay the Train was run at a Higher Speed, (it was capable of even higher), it arrived at my station - ONE minute before it was scheduled because it was driven at a Higher Speed.

The Line and the Trains are capable of >250kph but are run at less than
Today's headlines
Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down
Photo: TT

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down

A Tetra Pak factory in southern Sweden is set to shut down due to a decrease in demand, meaning 250 Swedes risk losing their jobs. READ  

The Local List
Ten false friends in the Swedish language
Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Ten false friends in the Swedish language

Never, ever take the Swedish language at face value. This is a language where "puss" means "kiss" and "kiss" means "pee". And that's just the beginning... READ  

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack
Permanent exhibition on the life of Sami nomads. Photo: Bengt Oberger/Wikipedia

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack

The Sami museum in northern Sweden had to be evacuated after two attackers sprayed an unknown substance which left several people violently ill. READ  

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Emir Selimi: The winner of the 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Prize. Photo: Charles L. Sjölander

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize

A Roma man has been hailed as "inspirational" after scooping this year's Raoul Wallenberg Prize for setting up an organization to help stamp out racism against the community. READ  

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Nato will soon be able to deploy forces to Sweden, with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely. READ  

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'
Exhaust fumes. Photo:Shutterstock.

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'

A beggar in southern Sweden was forced to flee in terror after she was enveloped with thick black smoke, part of an apparent attack that was captured on video and spread via social media. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden opens the gates for election voting
Don't forget to vote. Photo:Shutterstock.

Sweden opens the gates for election voting

If you're busy on September the 14th, or simply can't wait to have your voice heard, Wednesday morning marked the opening of the polling booths for early-bird voters. READ  

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

The Swedish Public Health Agency has urged parents to be aware of the dangers of the infectious whooping cough disease after two babies have recently died from the illness. READ  

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize
Chuck Berry performing in Oslo in 2007. Hakon Mosvold Larsen /Scanpix Norway

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize

The Polar music prizes were handed out in Stockholm on Tuesday night, with Chuck Berry and theatre director Peter Sellars sharing one million kronor ($153,000) in prizes. READ  

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers
The shoes pictured are indeed the shoes in question. Photo: Joakim Loamotte/TT

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers

UPDATED: A social media storm has seen a supermarket chain recalling its heeled children's shoes. The man behind the storm says other countries could learn from how seriously Sweden takes equality. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

732
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se