The station-yard working schedule plays an important part in governing the feasibility of the overall railway transport plan (including train operation diagrams), and has conventionally been created by experts with a detailed knowledge of the station yard. While a mass of veteran employees recently retire, to maintain this know-how and to pass it to younger workers represent a serious problem for railway operators.
To cope with this problem, in applying the planning technology by computer, a system is developed, which automatically creates station-yard working schedules for the revision and daily changes of train operation diagrams. The previous research aimed to scratch an old schedule and to create completely different one. This poses a problem in a practical manner. The new system adopts a technique to create a new schedule based on the existing one, enabling production of a practical schedule with work contents left almost unchanged.
A simulation was carried out to draw a yard working schedule for a large-scale container freight station (Fig. 1). The simulation verified that the schedule was established in 30 to 40 minutes when creating a master plan with an overall revision of the train operation diagram, and in about 10 minutes for daily routine changes of the diagram. Since manual scheduling takes a whole day or more and about an hour for these rescheduling processes respectively, this system drastically improves the efficiency of yard work scheduling.