Optimization of the Suburban Railway Train Operation Plan Based on the Zonal Mode
Traditional all-stop train operation mode cannot meet the demand of long travel distance and centralized travel of commuters very well. To meet this special travel demand, a zonal train operation mode based on “many-to-many” train stops is proposed. The coefficient of passenger exchange is used to locate suburban areas by depicting travel characteristics of commuters. Operational separating points within the suburban area are used as decision variables to analyze the combined cost components of this model, including passenger travel costs and railway operating costs. An integer programming model with the lowest overall cost is established, and the genetic algorithm is employed to solve it. The results proved good relative benefits in operation costs and travel time. And the sensitivity analysis of both coefficient of passenger exchange and passenger intensity has shown that the zonal operation mode is suitable for suburban railways with centralized travelers. However, the research also shows that when the passenger volume rose to a very high level, the number of zones would be limited by the maximized capacity of railway lines, which may cause the decline of the relative operational efficiency.
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