Increasing Robustness by Reallocating the Margins in the Timetable

It is a common practice to improve the punctuality of a railway service by the addition of time margins during the planning process of a timetable. Due to the capacity constraints of the railway network, a limited amount of time margins can be inserted. The paper presents a model and heuristic technique to find the better position for the limited amount of time margins (headway buffers and running time supplements) in a train timetable. The aim of reallocating the time margins is to adjust an existing timetable to minimize the sum of train delays at the event of the operational disturbances. The model consists of two basic parts. Firstly, the paper treats the train timetable as a Directed Arc Graph (DAG) with the aggregation concept and proposes a heuristic technique known as Critical Time Margins Allocation (CTMA), which is based on the critical path method (CPM), to reallocate the time margins. Secondly, the paper evaluates the original and modified timetable under different disturbed situations. The case study is developed on a hypothetical small railway network and a practical timetable of single-line train timetable for the track segment of Rawalpindi to Lalamusa, Pakistan. The results show that the timetable modified with the CTMA reduces the total delay time by an average of 3.25% for the small railway network and 5.18% for the large dataset. It suggests that adding the time supplements to the proper positions in a timetable can reduce the delay propagation and increase the robustness of the timetable.

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    • © 2019 Lingyun Meng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • Authors:
    • Meng, Lingyun
    • Abid, Malik Muneeb
    • Jiang, Xinguo
    • Khattak, Afaq
    • Khan, Muhammad Babar
  • Publication Date: 2019

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01717069
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2019 12:25PM