Dwell-time and run-time control for DC mass rapid transit railways
Dwell times at stations and inter-station run times are the two major operational parameters to maintain train schedule in railway service. Current practices on dwell-time and run-time control are that they are only optimal with respect to certain nominal traffic conditions, but not necessarily the current service demand. The advantages of dwell-time and run-time control on trains are therefore not fully considered. The application of a dynamic programming approach, with the aid of an event-based model, to devise an optimal set of dwell times and run times for trains under given operational constraints over a regional level is presented. Since train operation is interactive and of multi-attributes, dwell-time and run-time coordination among trains is a multi-dimensional problem. The computational demand on devising trains' instructions, a prime concern in real-time applications, is excessively high. To properly reduce the computational demand in the provision of appropriate dwell times and run times for trains, a DC railway line is divided into a number of regions and each region is controlled by a dwelltime and run-time controller. The performance and feasibility of the controller in formulating the dwell-time and run-time solutions for real-time applications are demonstrated through simulations.