Timetabling for strategic passenger railway planning

Gert-Jaap Polinder, Marie Schmidt, Dennis Huisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In research and practice, public transportation planning is executed in a series of steps, which are often divided into the strategic, the tactical, and the operational planning phase. Timetables are normally designed in the tactical phase, taking into account a given line plan, safety restrictions arising from infrastructural constraints, as well as regularity requirements and bounds on transfer times. In this paper, however, we propose a timetabling approach that is aimed at decision making in the strategic phase of public transportation planning and to determine an outline of a timetable that is good from the passengers’ perspective. Instead of including explicit synchronization constraints between train runs (as most timetabling models do), we include the adaption time (waiting time at the origin station) in the objective function to ensure regular connections between passengers’ origins and destinations. We model the problem as a mixed integer quadratic program and linearize it. Furthermore we propose a heuristic to generate starting solutions. We illustrate the trade-offs between dwell times and regularity of trains in two case studies based on the Dutch railway network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-135
Number of pages25
JournalTransportation Research. Part B, Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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