Special Issue "Sustainable Railway System"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Borna Abramović
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, University of Zagreb, 10,000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: railway traffic; passenger public transport; traffic management; game theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the railway system plays a vital role in world transport, as well as in the economy. After surviving deterioration in 20th century, this century is the renaissance of the railway system. In the whole world, there are interesting and advanced developments in railways. This is justified because of the huge scale scientific research in railway system. Today, we use battery or/and hydrogen trains, state of the art digitalization, and we have great success to the de-carbonization of the traffic system.

Railway systems are very complex and dynamic, and they are a part of the larger transport system. So, it is very interesting to have research in railway system from the different aspects, such as (1) management, (2) technology, (3) safety and security, (4) economy, and (5) mobility. Management is an invisible vital part of railway systems, and management implementation is crucial for efficiency and effectiveness. There are different scopes of management in railway systems, with different positive examples (case studies). Technology is the most important driver for better and sustainable railway systems. Implementing new technology in railway systems is an important step for keeping the railway on track for positive changes in society today. For massive transport systems like railways, safety and security issues are the most important pillars of the system. Such systems must have a positive impact on the economy, so there is a wide field of research in this topic. Mobility is condicio sine qua non in today’s transport, and railway systems are definitely a load carrier in passenger and goods transport. The most important role of railway systems in urban, suburban, and rural passenger transport is the sustainability of the whole transport system.

Assoc. Prof. Borna Abramović
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Railway traffic
  • Railway system
  • Railway management
  • Railway public transport
  • Railway goods transport
  • Sustainable railway system
  • Quality of railway service

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
A Proposal for the Account-Based Ticketing Application in Passenger Transport in the Slovak Republic: A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145491 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
From the point of view of the national economy, the development of a transport sector is a key process which relies on many other industries. Therefore, it is inevitable to coordinate related activities and to develop the transport sector effectively, and significant synergies [...] Read more.
From the point of view of the national economy, the development of a transport sector is a key process which relies on many other industries. Therefore, it is inevitable to coordinate related activities and to develop the transport sector effectively, and significant synergies in relation to other sectors could be generated. This article deals with the issue of public passenger transport and its greater attractiveness through the account-based ticketing (ABT) technology application in the process of passenger handling. The article contains a review of the current literature on the subject, using both completed and partially completed studies. It presents the case of study of account-based ticketing in the Slovak Republic. ABT technology has already been introduced in many countries, for example, in the Netherlands in 2019, and in Singapore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability of Railway Undertaking Services with Lean Philosophy in Risk Management—Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5298; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135298 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
The sustainability of services in undertakings which operate in railway passenger transport is closely connected with efforts to provide high-quality and time-acceptable services to the customer, to achieve lean processes, to standardise work processes, to eliminate wastage and to avoid those activities which [...] Read more.
The sustainability of services in undertakings which operate in railway passenger transport is closely connected with efforts to provide high-quality and time-acceptable services to the customer, to achieve lean processes, to standardise work processes, to eliminate wastage and to avoid those activities which do not add any value. Considering its ecological nature and big volume of passenger transport, railway passenger transport represents an irreplaceable sustainable system for the future. These facts and the entry of new railway carriers into this system highlight the importance of managing risks in a progressive way. This article focuses on the options of risk management when versatile and flexible tools, such as Lean tools, are set correctly. The aim of this article is to introduce a proposal for the application and a specific application of Lean philosophy in risk management which impacts train delays in railway passenger transport. From the point of view of quantitative data analysis, multiple mathematical-statistical tests have been used to assess data (e.g., Anderson–Darling test, Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Jarque–Bera test, two-tailed test, Grubbs’s test and Thompson Tau test). Also, descriptive statistics and ANOVA test (Analysis of Variance) have been applied in the process of evaluating the monitored attributes. In order to assess the data dependency, Chi-Square Test and a correlation analysis have been applied. The research outcomes focus on highlighting the need for a systematic approach for train delays and to avoid delays through risk management. The case study applies selected Lean methods to monitor train delays in selected stations within the main railway corridor of the Slovak Republic for the period from 2015 to 2018. In 2019, the results were processed and created a basis for proposing a unique software tool like an aid for risk management in the case of train delays using Lean philosophy. The flexible software includes the participation of employees, and at the same time, it respects the needs of customers. The research results provide grounds for further study of risks in a challenging environment of railway undertakings, with different types of trains, railway stations as well as entire railway networks. The processed results of the article represent valuable material for railway undertakings not only in Slovakia but also for railway organisations in V4 countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Decision-Making Process in the Case of Insufficient Rail Capacity
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5023; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125023 - 19 Jun 2020
Abstract
One of the main priorities of transport policy in the EU is to take measures to support railway transport as an environmentally friendly transport mode. An interesting challenge for a railway transport operation is represented with cost items for its operation. This problem [...] Read more.
One of the main priorities of transport policy in the EU is to take measures to support railway transport as an environmentally friendly transport mode. An interesting challenge for a railway transport operation is represented with cost items for its operation. This problem is exacerbated if transport flows are routed through a congested railway infrastructure. If some or all transport takes place on congested rail infrastructure, the carrier’s costs increase, which may ultimately lead to withdrawal from the market. The article deals with the impact of insufficient capacity on the rail carrier’s costs. We used a pre-cost calculation methodology to calculate the rail carrier’s additional costs due to the insufficient railway network capacity based on detailed calculation of train costs and proposed a methodology for carrier decision-making in case of insufficient rail infrastructure capacity. The case study showed that the use of a diversion track in case of insufficient planned rail line capacity may not be advantageous for carriers, even with a longer waiting time for capacity to be released. One of the ways to eliminate the negative effects of congested railway infrastructure is investment in the increase of its capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Data-Driven Study on the Sustainable Log Movements: Impact of Rail Car Fleet Size on Freight Storage and Car Idling
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114563 - 03 Jun 2020
Abstract
Rail car availability and the challenges associated with the seasonal dynamics of log movements have received growing attentions in the Lake Superior region of the US, as a portion of rail car fleet is close to reaching the end of its service life. [...] Read more.
Rail car availability and the challenges associated with the seasonal dynamics of log movements have received growing attentions in the Lake Superior region of the US, as a portion of rail car fleet is close to reaching the end of its service life. This paper proposes a data-driven study on the rail car peaking issue to explore the fleet of rail cars dedicated to being used for log movements in the region, and to evaluate how the number of cars affects both the storage need at the sidings and the time the cars are idled. This study is based on the actual log scale data collected from a group of forest companies in cooperation with the Lake State Shippers Association (LSSA). The results of our analysis revealed that moving the current log volumes in the region would require approximately 400–600 dedicated and shared log cars in ideal conditions, depending on the specific month. While the higher fleet size could move the logs as they arrive to the siding, the lower end would nearly eliminate the idling of rail cars and enable stable volumes throughout the year. However, this would require short-term storage and additional handling of logs at the siding, both elements that increase the costs for shippers. Another interesting observation was the fact that the reduction of a single day in the loading/unloading process (2.5 to 1.5 days) would eliminate almost 100 cars (20%) of the fleet without reduction in throughput. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Transport Potential in Regional Rail Passenger Transport by Using the Innovative Mathematical-Statistical Gravity Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093821 - 07 May 2020
Abstract
Planning the range of transport services in the selected geographical area is particularly relevant in the context of developing integrated transport systems. The aim is to build a sustainable public passenger transport system as an alternative to individual transport. Realizing quality and efficient [...] Read more.
Planning the range of transport services in the selected geographical area is particularly relevant in the context of developing integrated transport systems. The aim is to build a sustainable public passenger transport system as an alternative to individual transport. Realizing quality and efficient transport services is a comprehensive process, though there are currently no applicable principles of its proposal and creation in terms of creating the appropriate range of railway infrastructure. The paper presents the general research results focused on solving the problems of transport services in the regional passenger railway transport. The gravity model allows the study of the dependence between the population in the adjacent area, the availability of stops and the length of the transport line. A part of the research is to adjust the inputs of this model to more accurately determine the range of railway infrastructure. Based on the research of the palette of railway lines, the necessary capacity of infrastructure in terms of ensuring the required number of trains in peak hours is adjusted. The output is a proposal of the session to the calculation of transport potential and subsequently its practical application. Finally, based on its resulting values, it is possible to adjust the transport concept to set up a more efficient and higher quality timetable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Open AccessArticle
Terrorist Threat Mitigation Strategies for the Railways
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083408 - 22 Apr 2020
Abstract
Terrorism is an ever-present threat that is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. The railway has always been a favourable target for terrorists due to the high volume of people that utilise it, as well as the vital services it provides to the [...] Read more.
Terrorism is an ever-present threat that is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. The railway has always been a favourable target for terrorists due to the high volume of people that utilise it, as well as the vital services it provides to the nation. The railway is expanding and this will likely result in it becoming increasingly vulnerable to attack, unless new mitigation solutions are devised. In this paper risk assessment analyses by a software package conducted on different sections of the railway station provided insight into the present vulnerabilities. Mitigation solutions were devised to abolish these weaknesses in the system, to avoid terrorist exploitation. They were then evaluated to establish a workable solution: a modified version of the Thales Smart Corridor. This workable solution should be implemented across the nation to ensure passenger and rail infrastructure protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Chart 1

Open AccessArticle
Suitability Evaluation of a Train’s Scheduled Section Travel Time
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062399 - 19 Mar 2020
Abstract
Two methods used to evaluate the suitability of a train’s scheduled section travel time (TSSTT) are theoretical modeling and data analysis. The first is suitable for newly constructed railway projects, the second can reveal the reliability of the train section running time (TSRT) [...] Read more.
Two methods used to evaluate the suitability of a train’s scheduled section travel time (TSSTT) are theoretical modeling and data analysis. The first is suitable for newly constructed railway projects, the second can reveal the reliability of the train section running time (TSRT) under an instruction of TSSTT in cases where the train operation data are provided. A suitability evaluation method of TSSTT is proposed by calculating the possibility that a train completes a task within the time windows, centering on the TSSTT given in advance. The TSRTs between two adjacent stations are classified into four groups based on whether the train dwells at the two end stations of the railway section, and then subdivided secondly into subgroups by the instruction of TSSTT given. The kurtosis of each subgroup data of TSRT is larger than 3, so Weibull distribution is selected to fit the TSRT distribution of subgroup data due to good fitness based on root measurement of the least square (SRLSM). A busy high-speed railway line in the Wuhan area of China is used to validate the presented approach. Each railway section has its own suitable TSSTT in which TSRT might achieve 96% reliability of arriving within 2.5 minutes centering on suitable TSSTT, otherwise which might not obtain 10% reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Application of Specific Mathematical Methods in the Context of Revitalization of Defunct Intermodal Transport Terminal: A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2295; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062295 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The article deals with a specific research study discussing the possibility to revitalize a specific non-functional intermodal transport terminal. The structure of the manuscript consists of five sections. The first part is focused on the analysis of the subject being investigated in important [...] Read more.
The article deals with a specific research study discussing the possibility to revitalize a specific non-functional intermodal transport terminal. The structure of the manuscript consists of five sections. The first part is focused on the analysis of the subject being investigated in important scientific publications. The second part of the article presents a brief analysis of the current situation concerning intermodal transport in the Czech Republic and emphasizes the need to build an intermodal transport terminal in the South Bohemia region. The third section describes the contemporary state of the Nemanice transshipment station, provides a calculation of the terminal transport potential, which is thereafter used in the next paper section in order to design individual terminal elements. The objective of this study is to propose an approach methodology regarding the terminal connection to railway and road infrastructure, necessary quantification of the transport potential, which subsequently defines the operational need for handling equipment, and other parameters of the terminal fundamental elements. This methodological guideline is based on variant recommendations to equip the terminal with various handling devices, which are then evaluated, applying the exact decision making methods. Such an evaluation is included in the fourth part of the article. Here, the authors try to find out which terminal equipment is the most appropriate in terms of overall terminal efficiency. The last part of the manuscript is devoted to the final discussion of the key findings and conclusion containing an insight into potential future projects or studies to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
China Railway Express Subsidy Model Based on Game Theory under “the Belt and Road” Initiative
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052083 - 08 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
China Railway Express (CR Express) is an emerging freight transport mode between China and Europe, which provides a new option in addition to air transport and ocean shipping. At the initial stage of development, due to the higher freight costs compared to ocean [...] Read more.
China Railway Express (CR Express) is an emerging freight transport mode between China and Europe, which provides a new option in addition to air transport and ocean shipping. At the initial stage of development, due to the higher freight costs compared to ocean shipping, the government subsidy provided for the China Railway Express operator plays an important role in the process of market cultivation. The original intention of the government subsidy was to promote the rapid and sustainable development of China Railway Express and the further subsidy scheme should encourage China Railway Express operators to act towards the expected goal of the local government. This research is devoted to modeling and solving the problem of optimal subsidy amount in the operation of China Railway Express. Firstly, a subsidy model is established with the consideration of different objectives of local government and China Railway Express operator, which are affected by the operational effort level of the China Railway Express operator, actual freight rate and the highest freight rate that the shipper is willing to pay. Then, the validity of the proposed model is analyzed in the case study of the China Railway Express line (Wuhan–Hamburg). The effects of different subsidy amounts on the social benefits of local government and profits of the China Railway Express operator are analyzed and the sensitivity analysis is carried on the operational effort level of China Railway Express operator and the highest freight rate that shipper is willing to pay. The analysis results show that the optimal subsidy amount is between 2000 and 2500 USD per Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU). Finally, suggestions are proposed according to the analysis results. These findings can provide useful references for promoting the sustainable development of China Railway Express. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Mixed Integer Linear Programming Method for Simultaneous Multi-Periodic Train Timetabling and Routing on a High-Speed Rail Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031131 - 05 Feb 2020
Abstract
To avoid conflicts among trains at stations and provide passengers with a periodic train timetable to improve service level, this paper mainly focuses on the problem of multi-periodic train timetabling and routing by optimizing the routes of trains at stations and their entering [...] Read more.
To avoid conflicts among trains at stations and provide passengers with a periodic train timetable to improve service level, this paper mainly focuses on the problem of multi-periodic train timetabling and routing by optimizing the routes of trains at stations and their entering time and leaving time on each chosen arrival–departure track at each visited station. Based on the constructed directed graph, including unidirectional and bidirectional tracks at stations and in sections, a mixed integer linear programming model with the goal of minimizing the total travel time of trains is formulated. Then, a strategy is introduced to reduce the number of constraints for improving the solved efficiency of the model. Finally, the performance, stability and practicability of the proposed method, as well as the impact of some main factors on the model are analyzed by numerous instances on both a constructed railway network and Guang-Zhu inter-city railway; they are solved using the commercial solver WebSphere ILOG CPLEX (International Business Machines Corporation, New York, NY, USA). Experimental results show that integrating multi-periodic train timetabling and routing can be conducive to improving the quality of a train timetable. Hence, good economic and social benefits for high-speed rail can be achieved, thus, further contributing to the sustained development of both high-speed railway systems and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Multi-Criteria and Multi-Objective Optimization Approach for Establishing the Transport Plan of Intercity Trains
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020687 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of the transport plan must take into account various criteria impacting the transport process. The main objective of the study is to propose an integrated approach to determine the transport plan of passenger trains. The methodology consists of five steps. In [...] Read more.
The development of the transport plan must take into account various criteria impacting the transport process. The main objective of the study is to propose an integrated approach to determine the transport plan of passenger trains. The methodology consists of five steps. In the first step, the criteria for optimization of the transport plan were defined. In the second step, variants of the transport plan were formulated. In the third step, the weights of the criteria are determined by applying the step-wise weight assessment ratio analysis method (SWARA) multi-criteria method. The multi-objective optimization was conducted in the fourth step. The following multi-objective optimization approaches were used and compared: weighted sum method (WSM), compromise programming method (CP), and the epsilon–constraint method (EC). The study proposes a modified epsilon–constraint method (MEC) by applying normalization of each objective function according to the maximal value of the solution by individual optimization for each objective function, and hybrid methods: hybrid WSM and EC, hybrid WSM and MEC, hybrid CP and EC, and Hybrid CP and MEC. The impact of the variation of passenger flows on the choice of an optimal transport plan was studied in the fifth step. The Laplace’s criterion, Hurwitz’s criterion, and Savage’s criterion were applied to come to a decision. The approbation of the methodology was demonstrated through the case study of Bulgaria’s railway network. Suitable variant of transport plan is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop