In this paper we consider the problem of routing trains through railway stations. This problem occurs as a subproblem in a project which the authors are carrying out in cooperation with the Dutch railways. The project involves the analysis of future infrastructural capacity requirements in the Dutch railway network, Part of this project is the automatic generation and evaluation of timetables. To generate a timetable a hierarchical approach is followed: at the upper level in the hierarchy a tentative timetable is generated, taking into account the specific scheduling problems of the trains at the railway stations at an aggregate level. At the lower level in the hierarchy it is checked whether the tentative timetable is feasible with respect to the safety rules and the connection requirements at the stations. To carry out this consistency cheek, detailed schedules for the trains at the railway yards have to be generated. In this paper we present a mathematical model formulation for this detailed scheduling problem, based on the Node Packing Problem (NPP). Furthermore, we describe a solution procedure for the problem, based on a branch-and-cut approach. The approach is tested in an empirical study with data from the station of Zwolle in The Netherlands.

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Transportation Science
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Zwaneveld, P., Kroon, L., Romeijn, E., Salomon, M., Dauzere-Peres, S., van Hoesel, S., & Ambergen, H. W. (1996). Routing Trains through railway stations: model formulation and algorithms. Transportation Science, 181–194. Retrieved from