A new rail optimisation model by integration of traffic management and train automation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, planning - integration, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - management information systems


Traffic management, Train automation, Integration, Decision-making, Optimisation


This paper reviews and classifies the traffic optimisation schemes of current mainline railway into two groups. One is to improve the efficiency of traffic management by providing resolutions for traffic conflicts, while the other is to improve trains’ driving behaviour by providing driver assistance or introducing train automation. Based on a comparison of these two groups, this paper proposes to combine the functions of traffic management and train automation into an integrated optimisation model.

This model includes the following contributions. First, in the function of traffic management, this paper explores the flexibility in generating different train running trajectories to prevent potential traffic conflicts. The trajectory can improve traffic flow by avoiding unplanned train stops. This is regarded as a supplementary conflict resolution to train reordering or rerouting or retiming. Second, this paper defines a series of train control commands to determine different intensities of the train’s tractive force and braking force. These commands are seen as the key to train automation. Moreover, a decision-making procedure is introduced to select the most attractive train running trajectory or train control command according to different optimisation objectives. Lastly, this paper proves the importance of bidirectional communication between traffic management and train automation based on a case study.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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