Integer programming based solution approaches for the train dispatching problem
Şahin, Güvenç and Ahuja, Ravindra K. and Cunha, Claudio B. (2010) Integer programming based solution approaches for the train dispatching problem. [Working Paper / Technical Report] Sabanci University ID:SU_FENS_2011/0002
Railroads face the challenge of competing with the trucking industry in a fastpaced environment. In this respect, they are working toward running freight trains on schedule and reducing travel times. The planned train schedules consist of departure and arrival times at main stations on the rail network. A detailed timetable, on the other hand, consists of the departure and arrival times of each train in each track section of its route. The train dispatching problem aims to determine detailed timetables over a rail network in order to minimize deviations from the planned schedule. We provide a new integer programming formulation for this problem based on a spacetime network; we propose heuristic algorithms to solve it and present computational results of these algorithms. Our approach includes some realistic constraints that have not been previously considered as well as all the assumptions and practical issues considered by the earlier works.
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