Planning vehicle workings and duties is a demanding task– deploying all resources properly and optimally poses a challenge. The potential to generate optimised results is therefore significant. A small increase of a few percent in the efficiency of vehicle workings or duty schedules can save railway companies a lot of money. The optimisation solutions of IVU Traffic Technologies make it possible to always maintain an overview of complex run schedules and duty schedules and to utilise existing resources in the most efficient manner.
Rail companies all around the world put their trust in IVU.rail to optimise the planning and dispatch of all their resources and to reduce operational disruptions. The integrated software solution features entirely digital workflows, meaning that all data is always available across all areas of work – from long-term timetable planning and personnel planning through to the daily deployment of vehicles and employees.
In particular, the system’s powerful optimisation cores make a significant contribution to this increased efficiency. They allow planners, for example, to instantly create duty and run schedules that meet all legal and operational requirements. This frees up resources that can be utilised to provide additional services, for example. At the same time, the system creates more balanced duties that improve staff satisfaction. In addition, optimisation means that dispatch managers can respond directly to disruptions or engineering works and adapt duty and vehicle workings in seconds with only minimal changes.
It was precisely these advantages that convinced over MTR Pendeltågen, which is a subsidiary of the international MTR Corporation and operates Stockholm’s suburban railway network (‘Pendeltåg’). The company has been using IVU.rail since 2016 to provide its passengers with an efficient and reliable service.
Optimised vehicle workings
The Pendeltåg connects the Swedish capital, Stockholm, with the surrounding area. More than 390,000 passengers travel every day on a 241-kilometre rail network with 53 stations. Most of these passengers are commuters travelling to or from work in the Swedish capital or visitors travelling to or from Arlanda airport. Due to the fluctuating passenger volume the models that are deployed typically run with two to four carriages during the day and often only one or two carriages in the evening.
To enable individual carriages to be added and removed as required between journeys, the planners and dispatch managers at MTR need special functions for planning multiple units that precisely map train strengthening and weakening. IVU.rail allows them to track the position of each carriage. Shunting trips are also precision-mapped. This means that vehicle working schedulers always know precisely where a vehicle is and can combine trains efficiently.
To make the vehicle workings of its 110 trains more efficient and robust, MTR Pendeltågen uses the special vehicle working optimisation. Complex algorithms help to always find a needs-based and low-cost solution for the number of journeys that need to be planned. If desired, the system automatically creates unavoidable non-revenue trips and schedules maintenance on the basis of predefined service intervals, taking into account the availability of maintenance resources and parking capacities at depots.
The planners and dispatch managers can also use optimisation functions in the system to calculate different vehicle working schedule variants. These ‘what if?’ scenarios enable them to instantly respond to any changes by rolling out alternative vehicle working schedules in seconds. Planners and dispatch managers are thus able to maintain a reliable service across the extensive network even when snow or other adverse weather conditions are making regular operations difficult.