Shunting passenger trains: getting ready for departure

Marjan van den Akker, Hilbrandt Baarsma, Johann Hurink, Maciej Modelski, Jacob Jan Paulus, Ingrid Reijnen, Dan Roozemond, Jan Schreuder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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In this paper we consider the problem of shunting train units on a railway station. Train units arrive at and depart from the station according to a given train schedule and in between the units may have to be stored at the station. The assignment of arriving to departing train units (called matching) and the scheduling of the movements to realize this matching is called shunting. The goal is to realize the shunting using a minimal number of shunt movements. For a restricted version of this problem an ILP approach has been presented in the literature. In this paper, we consider the general shunting problem and derive a greedy heuristic approach and an exact solution method based on dynamic programming. Both methods are flexible in the sense that they allow the incorporation of practical planning rules and may be extended to cover additional requirements from practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 63rd European Study Group Mathematics with Industry
Subtitle of host publicationEnschede, The Netherlands, 28 January – 1 February, 2008
EditorsOnno Bokhove, Johann Hurink, Gjerrit Meinsma, Chris Stolk, Michel Vellekoop
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherCentrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-90-365-2779-8
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event63rd European Study Group Mathematics with Industry, SWI 2008 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Jan 20081 Feb 2008
Conference number: 63

Publication series

NameCWI Syllabi
PublisherCWI (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica)


Conference63rd European Study Group Mathematics with Industry, SWI 2008
Abbreviated titleSWI


  • greedy heuristic
  • shunting trains
  • METIS-255480
  • IR-65368
  • Dynamic Programming
  • EWI-15014


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