1. A freight train driver rescheduling system

  • Development of a train driver rescheduling system when freight train operation is disrupted
  • Creation of rescheduling plans in about 20 seconds, even for areas with high-frequency freight train operation

As freight trains operate over long distances through different areas, they are susceptible to large-scale disorder caused by transport disturbances in a particular region. In such situations, trains are delayed or cancelled as necessary, requiring changes to the train drivers' duties. It has so far been entrusted to manual work by dispatchers in charge, and there are needs to make a quicker rescheduling for the disruptions and to reduce the workload on the staff.

To this end, the RTRI has developed an automatic train driver rescheduling system given the information on the disrupted trains (Fig. 1) and the system reassigns train legs to operate with each driver based on mathematical optimization technology while considering physical constraints (such as the time required for the drivers to prepare for the newly assigned leg) and practical constraints (such as sections where only specific drivers are qualified to operate trains) (Fig. 2). The system can create several different rescheduling plans for each case of train disruption such as the one minimizing the number of drivers whose duties are changed or the one minimizing the overtime work by the drivers.

The RTRI carried out an experiment to create drivers rescheduling plan for a disturbance involving 30 trains in an area where 200 trains run a day. It was confirmed that appropriate rescheduling plans were created using a personal computer in about 20 seconds.

By adding locomotive rescheduling module to the current system, the RTRI plans to develop a comprehensive rescheduling support system to combine the two features in the future. Plans are also underway to discuss the extension of the system to passenger trains, which are characterized by much high-frequency operation.

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