During this project, an alternative system of contracting routes of the railway network is supposed to be developed. It is aimed at basing it on the auctioning of rail network capacities.to replace the ordinary first-come-first-serve regime of allocating slots for the German rail network.
The steps to developing the contracting system of the rail network were the following:
- Development of the auctioning design and software for the conduct of auctions
- Process of mathematical optimization of the route allocation at certain levels of demand and infrastructure
- Appropriate mapping of infrastructure and the way of driving of trains to enable mathematical approaches
- Development of an iterative approach for evaluating the optimization results under support of the operational planning software RailSys for adjusting the mapping of the infrastructure
In the previous year long phase 1, the feasibility of the project route management system was examined. In this phase, the overall concept was developed and first components were created. It was focused on a part of the German railway network, which includes the area around Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Göttingen, Kassel and Fulda. At the end of phase I, a sketch of the auctioning design was available as well as an optimization tool based on a modelling language with low performance.
For achieving the project objectives (developing an auction-based efficient route management/ contracting system), a mathematical optimization of schedule computation is necessary. The algorithms needed are so far not available, so that a complete redevelopment could not be avoided. It is characteristic for research projects, that the right approach is unknown. Accordingly, the partner ZIB, which was responsible for the optimization software TS-OPT, developed model after model to time after time live up to the requirements of the route optimization.
The Federal Network Agency has shown interest in using our tool to review isolated cases of contracting practices from the Deutsche Bahn. Generally, the schedule optimization software, especially TS-OPT, serves for increasing the productivity of infrastructure operators.
Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via https://www.tib.eu/suchen/id/TIBKAT%3A578641313/Trassenb%C3%B6rse-Phase-II-Forschungsprojekt-Abschlussbericht/?tx_tibsearch_search%5Bsearchspace%5D=tn