Planning Tomorrow's Railway - Role Of Technology In Infrastructure And Timetable Options Evaluation
Free (open access)
D Wood & S Robertson
Whether upgrading the railway infrastructure or improving rolling stock, investment decisions benefit from the consideration of many options - resignalling, route development, increasing competition (interoperability and open access), increased frequencies (freight on to the rails, faster, regular passenger services) -all of which should be assessed against several criteria - performance of the new railway, operator access requirements, engineering access, safety, revenue and cost. Traditional methods of assessment are often costly, slow and restricted to a subset of the available options. AEA Technology Rail, working with Railtrack plc, have developed a powerful suite of software applications which radically improve the ability to assess many options quickly and reliably. At the heart of this suite is an infrastructure database containing current and future schemes and an automatic timetable generator, capable of satisfying operational and commercial constraints. In addition, this suite contains simulation models to assess the reliability of the timetable in operation and the signalling throughput, together with revenue and cost forecasting tools. These models have been used extensively in the UK to evaluate upgrade schemes faster, cheaper and more reliably than would otherwise be possible.