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Management Science Seminar - An OR approach to train platforming problems

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Friday 20 March 2009, 13:00
LT6, Management School

Laura Galli

University of Bologna

Abstract: Several planning problems arising in the railways have been tackled using Operational Research (OR) techniques. Well-known examples include train timetabling, rolling stock scheduling and crew scheduling. A less well-known problem is the 'Train Platforming Problem' (TPP), which is the problem of assigning trains to platforms in a given railway station, given a fixed (or nearly fixed) timetable. The TPP can be remarkably difficult to solve, especially when the railway station has a complex topology, as is the case for many main European stations. This talk will introduce the TPP to the non-specialist, and then show how OR techniques were used to find solutions that were significantly better than those obtained by an Italian Infrastructure Manager.

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