On the tactical and operational train routing selection problem

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - europe, planning - route design, technology - intelligent transport systems, operations - scheduling


Real-time railway traffic management, Ant Colony Optimization, Routing, Scheduling


In the real-time railway traffic management problem, the number of alternative routings available to each train strongly affects the size of the problem and the time required to optimally solve it. The train routing selection problem identifies a suitable subset of alternative routings to be used for each train in the real-time railway traffic management. This paper analyzes the impact of solving the train routing selection problem at different levels. The problem can be solved at tactical level right after the timetabling process, using historical traffic data and with abundant computation time. In this case the problem constitutes an integration step between the timetabling and the real-time traffic management. Alternatively, the problem can be solved at operational level right before the real-time railway traffic management problem solution, using up to date traffic perturbation and a real-time time limit of computation. Experiments are performed on two French test cases, the line around Rouen and the Lille station area, for several disturbed and disrupted scenarios. The results show that the best approach depends on the type of traffic disturbance tackled.


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


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