Arezzo-Florence line, meeting between the councilor and the commuter committee
from Railway shorts of 30 January 2023
of the Tuscany Region
The Arezzo railway line was at the center of the meeting of the control room set up by the regional transport councilorship which took place on 28 January. The entire session, which was also attended by the mayors of the Valdarno, was dedicated to this section of the railway line. And the councilor Stefano Baccelli announces a forthcoming meeting with the commuter committee: that of Valdarno, Arezzo and Val di Chiana.
In fact, Aretina is confirmed as a problematic line. “It must be said – explains Baccelli – that this is a particularly complex system, depending on events even very distant from Tuscany and difficult to manage by the Region. For the most critical trains, which are constantly monitored, in-depth studies are in any case underway to identify, together with the managers , scheduling changes that can actually improve punctuality.” Part of the trains that Valdarno commuters board are included in the service contract between the Umbria Region and Trenitalia, as it covers the Florence-Foligno section. “For this reason the Tuscany Region – announces Baccelli – has started relations with the Umbria Region to deal with the monitoring and analysis of the service and adopt solutions to improve the punctuality of these trains, essential for Tuscan commuters”.
In the event that inefficiencies occur, it is important to provide travelers with timely information, in real time and with updates on the evolution of the situation: on the duration of the disruption, the arrival of the trains, the accumulated delays or alternative travel options . “Information – says the councilor – that we want to improve both in the station and on various infomobility channels, also expanding the social networks on which to convey the same information to reach an even wider audience of travellers”. “For this – he announces – a table on communication will soon be set up, at which the managers and Muoversi in Toscana will sit together with the Region”.
Delays and punctuality on the Aretina
A few numbers help explain the situation experienced daily on the Aretina line. In recent months, on all trains and on both routes (i.e. slow historical line and very direct line) the index that measures, without excluding any cause of delay, the punctuality of trains between Florence and the Valdarno, was 83 .4 per cent in August (albeit with a lower number of trains in circulation, given the work scheduled at the Florence hub), 82.3 per cent in September, 85.4 per cent in October, 85 .1 in November and 84.7 in December. Translated, this means that around 15 percent of trains every day are more than five minutes late: which is considered unsatisfactory.
If we take the reliability index as a reference – calculated with a formula that takes into account cancellations and delays, not considering those due to causes not attributable to the railways, and on the basis of which the 20 percent refund bonus is triggered or not commuters on the monthly pass – in recent months the agreed minimum has been slightly exceeded: 97.52 per cent in December (0.02% above the minimum) and 97.76 in September (+0.26% compared to the minimum). In June 2022, however, the bonus was triggered.
Lack of punctuality is often linked, on both lines, to the progressive increase in high-speed services (Trenitalia and Italo) in the last decade, after the activation of the Apennine high-speed line (2009) and subsequently of the Bologna junction. The delay in the passage through the Florence node almost daily causes delays due to conflicts between services and routings on the slow line are frequent, with interference on regional services.
On the slow line during 2022 there were numerous punctual infrastructural and technological criticalities (in particular between Montevarchi and Arezzo) which led to the initiation of renovation works on some sections of track and replacement of plant engineering. The works took place at night, but still affected the performance of the service – also due to delays in closing the construction sites – with even significant inconvenience on the first band trains.
The days with the black dot in December
In December, the most significant episodes occurred on the 9th, with the failure of the systems at the Compiobbi station, between Rovezzano and Pontassieve, on the slow line. A specific meeting of the control room was dedicated to this, as well as discussions between the leaders of the Region and those of Rfi. Punctuality on the Arezzo line in that case was 78.7 percent. Problems also occurred on 28 December with the activation of the new Ertms technology on the Arezzo Sud-Orvieto crossroads section, with the need to send high-speed trains on the slow line. About twenty-five regional trains were affected: seven were canceled for their entire journey, one was partially cancelled, nine were delayed up to ten minutes and eight were delayed up to thirty minutes. On 28 December punctuality on the Aretina route was 78.5 per cent.