Integrated condition-based track maintenance planning and crew scheduling of railway networks

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We develop a multi-level decision making approach for optimal condition-based maintenance planning of a railway network divided into a large number of sections with independent stochastic deterioration dynamics. At higher level, a chance-constrained Model Predictive Control (MPC) controller determines the long-term section-wise maintenance plan, minimizing condition deterioration and maintenance costs for a finite planning horizon, while ensuring that the deterioration level of each section stays below the maintenance threshold with a given probabilistic guarantee in the presence of parameter uncertainty. The resulting large MPC optimization problem containing both continuous and discrete decision variables is solved using Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition to improve the scalability of the proposed approach. At a lower level, the optimal short-term scheduling of the maintenance interventions suggested by the high-level controller and the optimal routing of the corresponding maintenance crew is formulated as a capacitated arc routing problem, which is solved exactly by transforming it into a node routing problem. The proposed approach is illustrated by a numerical case study on the optimal treatment of squats of a regional Dutch railway network. Simulation results show that the proposed approach is robust, non-conservative, and scalable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-384
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Chance-constrained optimization
  • Condition-based maintenance planning
  • Distributed optimization
  • Railway infrastructure


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