Using Integer Programming to Solve the Train-Platforming Problem

Billionnet, Alain
May 2003
Transportation Science;May2003, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p213
Academic Journal
We consider the problem of assigning trains to the available tracks at a railway station, given the daily timetable and the structural and operational constraints. This train-platforming problem is a key problem in railway station operations, and for a large station, many working days are required for an expert planner to construct the train-platforming. This problem was studied in De Luca Cardillo and Mione (1998), where it is formulated as a graph-coloring problem. These authors propose to solve it by an efficient heuristic algorithm combined with reduction techniques. In this paper, we show that integer programming is a very interesting tool to exactly solve the train-platforming problem as formulated in De Luca Cardillo and Mione (1998) by a graph-coloring problem. The fact of being able to solve it in an exact way by using an integer-programming solver obviously has many advantages. Some computational results are reported.


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