Deutsche Bahn Schedules Train Rotations Using Hypergraph Optimization

accepted for publication
  • Deutsche Bahn (DB) operates a large fleet of rolling stock (locomotives, wagons, and train sets) that must be combined into trains to perform rolling stock rotations. This train composition is a special characteristic of railway operations that distinguishes rolling stock rotation planning from the vehicle scheduling problems prevalent in other industries. DB models train compositions using hyperarcs. The resulting hypergraph models are ad-dressed using a novel coarse-to-fine method that implements a hierarchical column genera-tion over three levels of detail. This algorithm is the mathematical core of DB’s fleet em-ployment optimization (FEO) system for rolling stock rotation planning. FEO’s impact within DB’s planning departments has been revolutionary. DB has used it to support the company’s procurements of its newest high-speed passenger train fleet and its intermodal cargo locomotive fleet for cross-border operations. FEO is the key to successful tendering in regional transport and to construction site management in daily operations. DB’s plan-ning departments appreciate FEO’s high-quality results, ability to reoptimize (quickly), and ease of use. Both employees and customers benefit from the increased regularity of operations. DB attributes annual savings of 74 million euro, an annual reduction of 34,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and the elimination of 600 coupling operations in cross-border operations to the implementation of FEO.
Author:Ralf BorndörferORCiD, Thomas Eßer, Patrick Frankenberger, Andreas Huck, Christoph Jobmann, Boris Krostitz, Karsten Kuchenbecker, Kai Moorhagen, Philipp Nagl, Michael Peterson, Markus Reuther, Thilo Schang, Michael Schoch, Hanno Schülldorf, Peter Schütz, Tobias Therolf, Kerstin Waas, Steffen Weider
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Informs Journal on Applied Analytics
Year of first publication:2020