Timetable north. Copyright: SBB

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Weidmann | Transport Systems

Algorithms and methods for the construction of conflict-free, macroscopic timetables

Along with increasing globalisation, the strategic importance of transport infrastructures for society and the economy are also growing. Demands related to capacity and reliability in rail traffic are increasing. At the same time, however, infrastructure expansion puts pressure on economic and ecological limits, which then forces an even more intensified degree of capacity utilisation of the infrastructure. In the process, new planning and operational management instruments are accorded an important role.

This dissertation studies algorithms and processes that support the work processes of infrastructure planning and timetable preparation. From the functional requirements of the markets and the restrictions of the infrastructure, a conflict-free macroscopic timetable should be worked out and optimised. Known methods should also be further developed during the process. In addition, methodological approaches for mathematical and planning decomposition, various modelling instruments and processes on integral linear optimisation should also be included.

The integration of such algorithms in the timetable preparation process should make it possible for the planner to compare various conceptual approaches, functional requirements and infrastructure expansions in a short time. The computational work, optimisation, and also the assurance of being free of conflicts, as well as meeting all the desired requirements, should be automated in the process.