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Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030031

A Network Flow Model Approach to Determining Optimal Intervention Programs for Railway Infrastructure Networks

Institute of Construction and Infrastructure Management, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway Infrastructure Engineering)
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Abstract

The determination of the optimal interventions to execute on rail infrastructure networks is a challenging task, due to the many types of objects (e.g., bridges, tracks, and switches), how the objects work together to provide service, and the possible reductions in costs and service disruptions as obtained by grouping interventions. Although railway infrastructure managers are using computer systems to help them determine intervention programs, there are none that result in the highest net benefits while taking into consideration all of these aspects. This paper presents a network flow model approach that allows for determining the optimal intervention programs for railway infrastructure networks while taking into considerations different types of objects, how the objects work together to provide service, and object and object-traffic dependencies. The network flow models are formulated as mixed integer linear programs, where the optimal intervention program is found by using the simplex and branch and bound algorithms. The modelling approach is illustrated by using it to determine the optimal intervention program for a 2200 m multi-track railway line consisting of 11 track sections, 23 switches, and 39 bridges. It is shown that the proposed constrained network flow model can be used to determine the optimal intervention program within a reasonable amount of time, when compared to more traditional models and search algorithms. View Full-Text
Keywords: railway infrastructure; intervention program; network flow model; optimisation railway infrastructure; intervention program; network flow model; optimisation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Burkhalter, M.; Adey, B.T. A Network Flow Model Approach to Determining Optimal Intervention Programs for Railway Infrastructure Networks. Infrastructures 2018, 3, 31.

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