A conflict prevention strategy for large and complex networks in real-time railway traffic management

Pieter Vansteenwegen
KU Leuven Mobility Research Centre-CIB, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Sofie Van Thielen
KU Leuven Mobility Research Centre-CIB, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Francesco Corman
Dep. Of Civil, Env. And Geomatic Eng., ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

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Ingår i: RailNorrköping 2019. 8th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis (ICROMA), Norrköping, Sweden, June 17th – 20th, 2019

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 69:71, s. 1079-1096

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Publicerad: 2019-09-13

ISBN: 978-91-7929-992-7

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Train timetables are built such that trains can drive without any delay. However, in real-time, unexpected events such as overcrowded platforms or small mechanical defects can cause conflicts, i.e., two trains requiring the same part of the infrastructure at the same time. Currently, such conflicts are typically resolved by experienced dispatchers. However, it is impossible for them to fully anticipate the impact of their actions on the entire network. Conflict detection and prevention tools embedded in a Traffic Management System can help them in making informed decisions. Though some advanced train movement prediction and conflict detection has been developed in the last years, there still exists a need for conflict prevention strategies capable of delivering conflict resolutions on large and complex networks based on retiming, reordering and rerouting some of the trains in real-time. Our previous work introduced such a conflict prevention strategy that, based on offline calculations, determined which part of the network should be regarded when deciding on a conflict resolution. This work is significantly extended here by considering several new parameters for the Dynamic Impact Zone heuristic. This paper compares results on different sizes of networks, and tackles the challenges for applying the strategy on even larger networks.


Conflict Resolution, Real-Time Railway Management, Dispatching, Large Networks


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