An integrated micro-macro approach to robust railway timetabling

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64 Citations (Scopus)


With the increasing demand for railway transportation infrastructure managers need improved automatic timetabling tools that provide feasible timetables with enhanced performance in short computation times. This paper proposes a hierarchical framework for timetable design which combines a microscopic and a macroscopic model of the network. The framework performs an iterative adjustment of train running and minimum headway times until a feasible and stable timetable has been generated at the microscopic level. The macroscopic model optimizes a trade-off between minimal travel times and maximal robustness using an Integer Linear Programming formulation which includes a measure for delay recovery computed by an integrated delay propagation model in a Monte Carlo setting. The application to an area of the Dutch railway network shows the ability of the approach to automatically compute a feasible, stable and robust timetable. Practitioners can use this approach both for effective timetabling and post-evaluation of existing timetables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-32
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research. Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Feasibility
  • Infrastructure occupation
  • Railway timetable
  • Robustness
  • Stability

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