Quiroga, L. M.; Schnieder, E.:
A heuristic approach to railway track maintenance scheduling .
In: Beijing Jiaotong University, Hrsg.: Comprail 2010 - 12th International Conference on Computer System Design and Operation in the Railway and other Transit Systems, Beijing, China, September 2010.
Travelling safely and comfortably on high speed railway lines requires excel-
lent conditions of the whole railway infrastructure in general and of the
railway track geometry in particular. The maintenance process required to
achieve such excellent conditions is largely complex and expensive, demand-
ing an increased amount of both human and technical resources. In this
framework, an optimal scheduling of maintenance interventions is an issue
of increased relevance. In this work a method for optimization of tamping
scheduling is presented. It is based on a heuristic algorithm which finds
a very detailed tamping schedule where each planned intervention is fully
specified. The algorithm tries to maximize an objective function which is a
quantitative expression of the maintenance process’s objectives defined by
the railway company. It first finds an upper bound for the objective func-
tion value, and then returns the best feasible solution found. The method is
validated by means of a case study basing on real data of 240 km track of
a French high speed TGV line. The results presented show that the value
of the best solution found is very near the upper bound (the difference is
smaller than 1%), with a calculation time of under 1 second using a stan-
dard computer, so we think the heuristic has a great performance potential.
Keywords: Track maintenance, heuristics, tamping, scheduling.