Optimisation of train schedules to achieve minimum transit times and maximum reliability

Higgins, Andrew, Ferreira, Luis, & Kozan, Erhan (1996) Optimisation of train schedules to achieve minimum transit times and maximum reliability. In 13th International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory, 24-26 July 1996, Lyon, France.


The overall timetable reliability is a measure of the likely performance of the timetable as a whole, in terms of schedule adherence. The concept is a critical performance measure for both urban and non-urban rail passenger services, as well as rail freight transportation. This paper deals with the scheduling of trains on single track corridors, so as to minimise train trip times and maximise reliability of train arrival times.

A method used to quantify the amount of risk of delay associated with each train, each track segment, and the schedule as a whole, is used as the reliability component of the constrained optimisation model. The methodology used to estimate the risk of delay is put forward. The paper also describes a number of alternative solution techniques for the scheduling problem. These techniques include exact optimal solutions using branch and bound, and heuristic approaches, such as genetic algorithms, nearest neighbourhood heuristic and tabu search. Some of the results of using these alternative approaches are briefly described.

The schedule produced using risk of delay in the objective function, will be the most efficient in terms of delay due to train conflicts and delay that may occur due to unexpected events. The model and solution techniques are applied to the problem of determining improved positions of sidings on a single track corridor, with respect to a given schedule.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 3793
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: optimisation, scheduling, train timetable, transit time, delay, reliability, heuristic
ISBN: 0080425860
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Rail Transportation and Freight Services (150702)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:31

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