The railway line frequency and size setting problem

Alicia De-Los-Santos, Gilbert Laporte, Juan A. Mesa, Federico Perea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


The problem studied in this paper takes as input data a set of lines forming a railway network, and an origin–destination (OD) matrix. The OD pairs may use either the railway network or an alternative transportation mode. The objective is to determine the frequency/headway of each line as well as its number of carriages, so that the net profit of the railway network is maximized. We propose a mixed integer non-linear programming formulation for this problem. Because of the computational intractability of this model, we develop four algorithms: a mixed integer linear programming (MIP) model, a MIP-based iterative algorithm, a shortest-path based algorithm, and a local search. These four algorithms are tested and compared over a set of randomly generated instances. An application over a case study shows that only the local search heuristic is capable of dealing with large instances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-53
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Transport
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Heuristics
  • Mathematical programming
  • Railway line planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Transportation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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