Railway Traffic Disturbance Management--An Experimental Analysis of Disturbance Complexity, Management Objectives and Limitations in Planning Horizon

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - scheduling, operations - traffic, land use - planning, organisation - management, place - europe, place - urban, mode - rail


Train rescheduling, Traffic delay, Sweden, Railways, Railroads, Planning, Incident management, Europe, Disasters and emergency operations


With the increasing traffic volumes in European railway networks and reports on capacity deficiencies that cause reliability problems, the need for efficient disturbance management becomes evident. This paper presents a heuristic approach for railway traffic re-scheduling during disturbances and a performance evaluation for various disturbance settings using data for a large part of the Swedish railway network that currently experiences capacity deficiencies. The significance of applying certain re-scheduling objectives and their correlation with performance measures are also investigated. The analysis shows, e.g., that a minimisation of accumulated delays has a tendency to delay more trains than a minimisation of total final delay or total delay costs. An experimental study of how the choice of planning horizon in the re-scheduling process affects the network on longer-term is finally presented. The results indicate that solutions which are good on longer-term can be achieved despite the use of a limited planning horizon. A 60 minute long planning horizon was sufficient for the scenarios in the experiments.


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564