Traffic controllers regulate railway traffic by sequencing train movements and setting routes with the aim of ensuring smooth train behaviour and limiting, as much as possible, train delays. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a real-time traffic management system, called ROMA (Railway traffic Optimization by Means of Alternative graphs), to support controllers in the everyday task of managing disturbances. We make use of a branch-and-bound algorithm for sequencing train movements, while a local search algorithm is developed for rerouting optimization purposes. The compound problem of routing and sequencing trains is approached iteratively, computing an optimal train sequencing for given train routes and then improving this solution by locally rerouting some trains. An extensive computational study is carried out, based on a dispatching area of the Dutch railway network. We study practical size instances, and include in the model important operational constraints, including rolling stock and passenger connections. Different types of disturbances are analysed, including train delays and blocked tracks. Comparison with common dispatching practice shows the high potential of the system as an effective support tool to improve punctuality. © 2008 INFORMS.
D'Ariano, A., Corman, F., Pacciarelli, D., & Pranzo, M. (2008). Reordering and local rerouting strategies to manage train traffic in real time. TRANSPORTATION SCIENCE, 42(4), 405-419 [10.1287/trsc.1080.0247].