Railway timetable rescheduling with flexible stopping and flexible short-turning during disruptions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - europe, operations - scheduling, ridership - demand


Railways, Disruption management, Timetable rescheduling, Flexible stopping, Flexible short-turning


Railway operations are vulnerable to unexpected disruptions that should be handled in an efficient and passenger-friendly way. To this end, we propose a timetable rescheduling model where flexible stopping (i.e. skipping stops and adding stops) and flexible short-turning (i.e. full choice of short-turn stations) are innovatively integrated with three other dispatching measures: retiming, reordering, and cancelling. The Mixed Integer Linear Programming model also ensures that each train serving a station is ensured with a platform track. To consider the rescheduling impact on passengers, the weight of each decision is estimated individually according to the time-dependent passenger demand. The objective is minimizing passenger delays. A case study is carried out for hundreds of disruption scenarios on a subnetwork of the Dutch railways. It is found that (1) applying a mix of flexible stopping and flexible short-turning results in less passenger delays; (2) shortening the recovery duration mitigates the post-disruption consequence by less delay propagation but is at the expense of more cancelled train services during the disruption; and (3) the optimal rescheduling solution is sensitive to the disruption duration, but some steady behaviour is observed when the disruption duration increases by the timetable cycle time.


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


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