Decision support tool for ProRail
The infrastructure of the Dutch railway network is operated and administrated by ProRail. Part of this responsibility is that ProRail has to assess the potential use of the railway infrastructure in order to develop feasible benchmarks for the companies bidding for a service contract, such as the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) or the High-Speed Alliance.
The objective of this project was to develop a decision support tool for quick evaluation of the performance of a timetable that takes into account the intrinsic randomness (caused e.g. by weather conditions and fluctuations in passenger volume) of railway operations.
A combination of computer simulation with advanced mathematical modeling techniques was used for developing a software tool that allows the planner to evaluate the performance of various scenarios in a blink of the eye. Specifically, the method developed in the project is capable of assessing the performance of a timetable together with a particular allocation of trains for the entire Dutch railway network on a standard laptop computer within less than one minute.
Performance evaluation, randomness, decision support, operations research