Operational Simulation of Light Rail



Operational Simulation of Light Rail

Authors

RUDOLPH R, University of Hanover, Germany

Description

Extensive infrastructure modifications in railway systems generate high costs and predetermine the basis of the operation in such systems for many years. Operational changes due to or independent of infrastructure modifications can adversely effect to the

Abstract

Extensive infrastructure modifications in railway systems generate high costs and predetermine the basis of the operation in such systems for many years. Operational changes due to or independent of infrastructure modifications can adversely effect to the operational flexibility and reliability if unconsidered or unexpected problems occur. With the help of operational simulation, it is possible to determine the consequences of infrastructure or operational changes in railway systems, before a lot of money is spent or an inefficient timetable is implemented into operation.

There is a long experience in simulation and evaluation of railway operations at the Institute of Transport, Railway Construction and Operation (IVE) at the University of Hanover. The Simu simulation system was first developed in the 1970s mainly for the German Federal Railways and other operators of long distance passenger trains. But in the last few years light rail operators also discovered the advantages of operational simulation before implementing constructional or operational variations in their systems. The new system RailSys offers many functions which can be used to accurately calculate and evaluate the impacts of such measures.

In comparison with heavy rail systems some different specifics have to be taken into account when simulating light rail operation. Running at sight is the basis for most of the light rail simulations, but signalling systems or intelligent operation systems like moving block can also be modelled. Moreover, various influences on light rail operation like the car traffic and the time for boarding and alighting have to be considered.

The following article describes the features of the operational simulation with RailSys and the characteristics of light rail simulation. Furthermore the shape of the simulation outcomes will be presented and the conclusions drawn from this will be described.

Publisher

Association for European Transport