Mitigating train-type heterogeneity on a single-track line

Dingler, M.H., Y-C. Lai and C.P.L. Barkan. 2013. Mitigating train-type heterogeneity on a single-track line. Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 9 (4): 251-262. doi:10.1177/0954409712456832.


North American railroads are experiencing growth in traffic demand and increasingly need to expand capacity on their lines; this will require changes in the mode of operation and infrastructure. Infrastructure expansion requires long lead times and is capital-intensive. Alternatively, some additional capacity may be achieved by alteration of the mode of operation which is often less expensive and faster to implement. In this paper dispatch simulation software was used to analyze a model of a single-track signalized line with characteristics typical of a North American railroad subdivision. The objective was to determine the effects of various operational and infrastructure changes in terms of reducing train delay. For each scenario a reduction in the delay was considered to be a benefit of the project, while any increases in delay, additional locomotives, increased fuel consumption, increased track maintenance costs and additional infrastructure were considered the expenses of the project. A cost–benefit analysis was conducted in order to determine which operational or infrastructure changes are the most cost-effective for each scenario.