Cost functions and multi-objective timetabling of mixed train services

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, operations - reliability, operations - scheduling, ridership - attitudes


Train timetabling, Journey times, Punctuality, Multi-objective optimisation


This paper investigates a set of cost functions for assessing and timetabling mainline train services. The present study incorporates considerations from both operators’ and passengers’ perspectives including service running times, punctuality, waiting times, and comfort of the journeys. The cost functions are applied to a multi-objective optimisation formulation subject to constraints representing operational requirements and signalling systems. The optimisation model is applied to the Brighton Main Line network in Southeast England as a case study, and the results demonstrate how the proposed optimisation framework can help government and train operators to derive more effective and equitable timetable with consideration of customer satisfaction. A Pareto analysis is further derived to illustrate the trade-off between conflicting objectives in the optimisation process under different circumstances.


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


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