DWELL TIME SIMULATION FROM DESIGN TO POLICY
James Nicoll, CH2m, Angela Lopez, CH2M
Review of advances in current dwell time simulation techniques and options for options for extending work in this field to better inform rail policy and planning.
The use of dynamic pedestrian microsimulation modelling to assess and understand station dwell times is now a standard element of the rolling stock design and procurement process for many high capacity metro services, with target dwell times being a frequent design specification.
This technical approach has significantly expanded the range of design and behavioural questions which can be considered during the design process, while in other contexts, related approaches have also been used to explore questions such as the dwell time impacts of changes in service patterns or alternative infrastructure provision (through their impact in increasing or reducing differential usage of different service groups and platform areas).
As the technical approach to these studies becomes more mature we review recent developments in dwell time modelling in light of our recent project experience and highlight current areas of the field where we believe the state of practice is progressing.
Clear progress is however less apparent in applying these developments to addressing some of the broader questions raised by discussion of many current rail industry planning and policy priorities - network capacity optimisation, accessibility, reliability, values of travelling time.
Review of some of the potential issues behind this, including both the structural factors as well the technical challenges (technology, data availability and integration and implementation) faced in undertaking studies of this type is used to highlight the practical opportunities potentially available for extending and adapting what is currently a largely design focussed discipline, and allowing it to better inform and address these wider questions of service planning and appraisal.
Association for European Transport