An Iterative Heuristic for Passenger-Centric Train Timetabling with Integrated Adaption Times

49 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020

See all articles by Gert-Jaap Polinder

Gert-Jaap Polinder

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Valentina Cacchiani

University of Bologna

Marie Schmidt

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Dennis Huisman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Econometrics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Center for Optimization in Public Transport (ECOPT)

Date Written: June 17, 2020

Abstract

We aim at constructing a timetable that minimizes average perceived passenger travel time, which, in addition to the in-train and transfer times, includes the adaption time (waiting time at the origin station). Adaption time minimization allows us to avoid strict frequency regularity constraints and, at the same time, to ensure regular connections between passengers’ origins and destinations. Besides considering safety restrictions (i.e., headway times, overtaking and crossing constraints), passenger routing, based on origin-destination demand pairs, must be taken into account when building the timetable. This problem can be modelled as an extension of a Periodic Event Scheduling Problem (PESP) formulation, but cannot be directly solved by a general-purpose solver for our real-size instances. In this paper, we propose a heuristic approach consisting of two phases that are executed iteratively. First, we solve a simplified timetabling model, and determine an ideal timetable that minimizes the average perceived passenger travel time but neglects safety restrictions. Then, a Lagrangian-based heuristic makes the timetable feasible by modifying train departure and arrival times as little as possible. The obtained feasible timetable is then evaluated to compute the resulting average perceived passenger travel time, and a feedback is sent to the Lagrangian-based heuristic so as to possibly improve the obtained timetable from the passenger perspective, while still respecting safety constraints. We have tested the proposed iterative heuristic approach on real-life instances of Netherlands Railways, showing that it converges to a feasible timetable very close to the ideal one.

Keywords: public transportation planning, heuristic, integration of timetabling and passenger routing, adaption time

Suggested Citation

Polinder, Gert-Jaap and Cacchiani, Valentina and Schmidt, Marie and Huisman, Dennis, An Iterative Heuristic for Passenger-Centric Train Timetabling with Integrated Adaption Times (June 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3629576 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3629576

Gert-Jaap Polinder

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Valentina Cacchiani

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

Marie Schmidt (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Dennis Huisman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Econometrics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1523 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9162 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.few.eur.nl/few/people/huisman/

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Center for Optimization in Public Transport (ECOPT)

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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