This paper addresses the Rolling Stock Balancing Problem (RSBP). This problem arises at a passenger railway operator when the rolling stock has to be re-scheduled due to changing circumstances. These problems arise both in the planning process and during operations. The RSBP has as input a timetable and a rolling stock schedule where the allocation of the rolling stock among the stations does not fit to the allocation before and after the planning period. The problem is then to correct these off-balances, leading to a modified schedule that can be implemented in practice. For practical usage of solution approaches for the RSBP, it is important to solve the problem quickly. Therefore, the focus is on heuristic approaches. In this paper, we describe two heuristics and compare them with each other on some (variants of) real-life instances of NS, the main Dutch passenger railway operator. Finally, to get some insight in the quality of the proposed heuristics, we also compare their outcomes with optimal solutions obtained by solving existing rolling stock circulation models.

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Econometric Institute Research Papers
Report / Econometric Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Economics

Budai-Balke, G., Maróti, G., Dekker, R., Huisman, D., & Kroon, L. (2007). Re-scheduling in railways: the rolling stock balancing problem (No. EI 2007-21). Report / Econometric Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from