Congested railways: influence of infrastructure and timetable properties on delay propagation

In this thesis the symptoms and underlying behaviour of congestion on railways are analysed and discussed. As well as in many other countries, Sweden faces increasing demand for transport. To meet this new demand, railways play an important role. Today, the capacity of the Swedish rail network is not upgraded at the speed necessary to keep up with the increase in traffic demand. The sensitivity of the railway system rises as the capacity utilisation increases. At some point the marginal gain of operating one extra train is lower than the costs in term of increased sensitivity to delay, i.e. maximum capacity has been reached. Two methodologies are employed in this thesis to analyse capacity. The first uses real data from the Swedish rail network, train operation and delays to analyse how different factors influence available capacity and delay creation. Several useful key performance indicators are defined to describe capacity influencing properties of the infrastructure and the rail traffic. The rail network is divided into subsections for which the indicators have been estimated. This makes it possible to discern their different characteristics and identify potential weaknesses. The second approach employs the railway simulation tool RailSys in extensive simulation experiments. This methodology is used to analyse the characteristics of double track operation. Simulation of several hundred scenarios are conducted to analyse the influence of traffic density, timetable speed heterogeneity, primary delays and inter-station distance on secondary delays and used timetable allowance. The analysis gives an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind the performance of a double track.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 44p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 12-005
    • Publisher: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
    • ISSN: 1653-445X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495715
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9789185539901
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:42AM