In between transportation services, trains are parked and maintained at shunting yards. The conflict-free routing of trains to and on these yards and the scheduling of service and maintenance tasks is known as the train unit shunting and service problem. Efficient use of the capacity of these yards is becoming increasingly important, because of increasing numbers of trains without proportional extensions of the yards. Efficiently scheduling maintenance activities is extremely challenging: currently only heuristics succeed in finding solutions to the integrated problem at all. Bounds are needed to determine the quality of these heuristics, and also to support investment decisions on increasing the yard capacity. For this, a complete algorithm for a possibly relaxed problem model is required. We analyze the potential of extending the model for multi-agent path finding to be used for such a relaxation.
Koos van der Linden
Mathijs de Weerdt
NS (Dutch Railways)
Please contact Mathijs de Weerdt
Publications related to this project
Shunting and servicing competition
As part of this project we are developing a shunting and servicing competition.
For this competition the goal is to provide an agent that solves train shunting and servicings problems. Those problems are simulated in the shunting yard simulator that we have developed. For an introduction of this simulator see the video below.