WIT Press

Improving the mass-transit flow by train-holding in station with a simple and efficient heuristic


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2018), Issue 4



Page Range

330 - 341

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Rémy Chevrier & François Ramond


Railway traffic management in mass transit is often disturbed by perturbations on the running and the dwell times. Then, the headways between the trains may become insufficient and due to security distances between trains the perturbations propagate in the network and amplify. In this article, we propose a train-holding strategy in order to reset sufficient headways between trains. The mechanism is based on a heuristic which is simple and responsive. The prototype developed based on this concept was ex- perimented in a subpart of the SNCF Transilien network: the RER A and L lines. During a 2-week experimentation, the train drivers were advised to depart after a dwell time that was accurately computed. The obtained results and the experimental feedback confirm the relevance and the efficiency of such a mechanism in the mass-transit context with important flows.


driving, dwell time, traffic management, train-holding.