REGIONAL RAILWAYS: TIMETABLE-BASED LONG-TERM INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Last modified: 2017-02-28
In regional traffic, we are confronted with an ageing railway infrastructure with both ridership decrease and a poor structural condition, interlocked mutually: Investments are hard to justify because of low traffic loads, but service improvements are bound to fail due to the inadequate infrastructure. Therefore, a smart, iterative design process must be started. Taking into account future structural changes and demand shifts, a target timetable is created. First, a demand model for the planning area is set up and calibrated against the current traffic flows of both public transport (train and bus) and individual transport. Second, a prediction of future population changes and structure developments (settlement and road infrastructure) is set up and woven into the demand model. Third, the demand model is fed with the future data and the current timetable to check the development without measures. Fourth, a sensitivity analysis of competing timetable models is checked against the demand model; a detailed analysis of these results is then taken to optimise the best-ranked timetable model. Next, the design of a more detailed timetable can start. By means of an integrated timetable model, the operationally necessary riding times between hubs as well as along the track are defined as well as the rough location of two-track sections. These parameters are then taken over to check infrastructure as well as vehicle options to achieve these goals. In a project-wise analysis, the optimal combination of infrastructure measures is then obtained to be able to run the predicted timetable. Since this timetable has been put beyond dispute beforehand, every single infrastructure measure can be justified including all consequences that result from its implementation. This results in a step-by-step upgrade plan and a definitely optimal, long-term and timetable-based infrastructure development perspective.
regional traffic; railway; timetable; infrastructure; target network