A multiphase optimal control method for multi-train control and scheduling on railway lines

Hongbo Ye, Ronghui Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


We consider a combined train control and scheduling problem involving multiple trains in a railway line with a predetermined departure/arrival sequence of the trains at stations and meeting points along the line. The problem is formulated as a multiphase optimal control problem while incorporating complex train running conditions (including undulating track, variable speed restrictions, running resistances, speed-dependent maximum tractive/braking forces) and practical train operation constraints on departure/arrival/running/dwell times. Two case studies are conducted. The first case illustrates the control and scheduling problem of two trains in a small artificial network with three nodes, where one train follows and overtakes the other. The second case optimises the control and timetable of a single train in a subway line. The case studies demonstrate that the proposed framework can provide an effective approach in solving the combined train scheduling and control problem for reducing energy consumption in railway operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-393
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Energy consumption
  • Moving block
  • Optimal train control
  • Railway
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

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