Passenger oriented railway disruption management by adapting timetables and rolling stock schedules

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, operations - scheduling, operations - frequency, ridership - demand, ridership - behaviour, planning - travel demand management, technology - management information systems, technology - intelligent transport systems


Railways, Disruption management, Rolling stock, Timetable


In passenger railway operations, unforeseen events require railway operators to adjust their timetable and their resource schedules. The passengers will also adapt their routes to their destinations. When determining the new timetable and rolling stock schedule, the railway operator has to take passenger behavior into account. The operator should increase the capacity of trains for which the operator expects more demand than on a regular day. Furthermore, the operator could increase the frequency of the trains that serve stations with an additional demand.

This paper describes a real-time disruption management approach which integrates the rescheduling of the rolling stock and the timetable by taking the changed passenger demand into account. The timetable decisions are limited to additional stops of trains at stations at which they normally would not call. Several variants of the approach are suggested, with the difference in how to determine which additional stops should be executed.

Real-time rescheduling requires fast solutions. Therefore a heuristic approach is used. We demonstrate the performance of the several variants of our algorithm on realistic instances of Netherlands Railways, the major railway operator in the Netherlands.


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


Transportation Research Part C Home Page: