Disruption management for railway systems involves quickly determining and taking adequate measures in case of disruptions. These measures are mainly related to the timetable, the rolling stock circulations and the crew schedules. This project is aimed at determining how the decision process can be supported by intelligent computerized disruption systems and developing such tools to support and speed up the decisions for especially the rolling stock circulations and the crew schedules. Scientific and Societal Relevance. The project contributes to the handling of disruptions in railway networks. Reliable and punctual railways are in the interest of the general public. Disruption management is relevant not only in railways but also in other forms of transportation such as airlines and bus companies. Results from this project may be of interest in those fields as well. The project is relevant for the scientific community because such methods have mainly been studied for off-line problems and not in real-time contexts. Background and problem definition. The performance of railways is subject to much public and political debate. Therefore it is important for railway operators to minimize the effects of unexpected events such as malfunctioning material and accidents. In such cases operations must deviate from original plans, but the aim is to keep the service level for passengers as high as possible. There is not much time to find good countermeasures, so planners often choose to implement the first feasible solution they find. Currently the process of finding optimized or even feasible solutions in case of disruptions involves very little computerized support.
Nederland is sterk afhankelijk van een betrouwbaar spoorsysteem. Helaas hebben de spoorwegen geregeld te maken met onverwachte incidenten zoals technische storingen in treinstellen, waarop de vervoerder het dienstrooster, de inzet van treinen en van het personeel snel moet kunnen aanpassen teneinde zo veel mogelijk de service aan de reiziger te behouden en overvolle treinen te vermijden. Om de planners van de spoorwegen te ondersteunen, heeft Lars Nielsen in zijn proefschrift wiskundige modellen ontworpen die het storingsmanagement in real time kunnen verbeteren maar tevens ook gebruikt kunnen worden bij bijvoorbeeld geplande onderhoudswerkzaamheden.