WIT Press

Disruption Handling In Large Railway Networks


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

629 - 640




902 kb


F. Corman, A. D’Ariano & I. A. Hansen


Railway traffic is operated according to a detailed off-line plan of operations, specifying for each train its path through the network plus arrival and departure times at its scheduled stops. During daily operations disturbances perturb the plan and dispatchers take actions in order to keep operations feasible and to limit delay propagation. This paper studies how to support dispatchers in the management of infrastructure disruptions in a large network divided into dispatching areas of limited size. We consider seriously disturbed traffic conditions on double track railway lines where some block sections of one track are unavailable for traffic, e.g., due to a temporary track blockage.We start from a given set of disruption resolution scenarios, computed off-line. Disrupted train services are either cancelled, rerouted in the disrupted dispatching area or rerouted in other areas while still with the same origin and destination. Given a disruption resolution scenario, we adopt an advanced decision support system, ROMA (Railway traffic Optimization by Means of Alternative graphs), in order to compute efficient train schedules at the level of signal control, along with detailed performance indicators. Alternative dispatching solutions are computed in a few minutes. The dispatcher has to choose one schedule for implementation, with a trade-off between minimizing delays of all trains running in the network and limiting the cancellation of disrupted train services. A test case is evaluated on a large Dutch railway network with heavy traffic and strong disorder. We compute dispatching solutions for a given set of scenarios and evaluate them in terms of travel times, waiting times and train delays. Keywords: railway traffic management, disruption, microsimulation.


railway traffic management, disruption, microsimulation