Train timetabling with stop-skipping, passenger flow, and platform choice considerations

Xiaoming Xu, Chung Lun Li, Zhou Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In conventional railway planning processes, stop-skipping decisions are often made at the line planning stage, which is executed prior to train timetabling and platform assignment. However, stop-skipping can shorten passenger journey time and also save on train operating costs. Hence, integrating train timetabling, stop-skipping, and platform choice decisions can help generate train timetables with improved passenger convenience and higher train operating efficiency. Integrating these decisions is a challenging task, as these decisions affect passenger train transfer behavior, which in turn affects the entire passenger flow. This study is a first attempt at integrating these decisions while simultaneously taking into account the passenger flow. We consider a train timetabling problem on a single, one-way track with stop-skipping, platform choice, and passenger flow considerations, and we formulate it as a constrained minimum-cost multi-commodity network flow problem on a time–space network. We analyze the problem's complexity and develop a Lagrangian relaxation heuristic to solve the problem. We conduct a computational study with randomly generated data that captures the characteristics of the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway line. The computational results report the effectiveness of our Lagrangian relaxation heuristic and how the railway's service capacity and passenger traffic intensity affect the solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-74
Number of pages23
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Dynamic passenger demand
  • Lagrangian relaxation
  • Platform assignment
  • Stop-skipping
  • Train timetabling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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