One of the bottlenecks in the logistic planning process at Netherlands Railways is the capacity of the infrastructure at the larger railway stations. To provide passenger trains with the right composition of rolling stock, many shunting movements between platform tracks and shunting areas are necessary, especially just before and after the peak hours. These shunting movements use the same infrastructure as the timetabled passenger and cargo trains. In this paper we describe a capacity test that has been developed to test at any moment during the planning process, whether the capacity of the infrastructure between the platform tracks and the shunting areas is sufficient for facilitating all the shunting movements that have to be planned in between the already timetabled train movements. With this test it is not necessary anymore to plan every detail of the shunting movements far before the actual operations. The capacity test is based on a mixed integer programming model. The running time of the Branch-and-Bound algorithm of CPLEX 9.0 is sufficiently small, as was observed in computational experiments related to three stations in the Netherlands.

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Keywords Algorithmic methods, Before and after, Branch-and-bound algorithm, Computational experiments, Germany, In-between, Integer programming, Locomotives, Mathematical programming, Mixed integer programming model, Netherlands, Optimization, Passenger trains, Planning process, Process engineering, Railroad cars, Railroads, Rails, Railway stations, Rolling-stock, Running time
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van den Broek, J., & Kroon, L.G.. (2007). A capacity test for shunting movements. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 4359 LNCS, 108–125. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-74247-0_5