Investigation into train positioning systems for saving energy with optimised train trajectories

Hassan Hamid, Gemma Nicholson, Heather Douglas, Ning Zhao, Clive Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)


One approach to reduce energy consumption in railway systems is to implement optimised train trajectories. These are speed profiles that reduce energy consumption without foregoing customer comfort or running times. This is achieved by avoiding unnecessary braking and running at reduced speed whilst maintaining planned arrival times. An optimised train trajectory can be realised using a driver advisory system (DAS). The optimal train trajectory approach needs a variety of input data, such as the train's position, speed, direction, gradient, maximum speed, dwell time, and station locations. Many studies assume the availability of a very accurate train position in real time. However, providing and using high precision positioning data is not always the most cost-effective solution. The aim of this research is to investigate the use of appropriate positioning systems, with regard to their performance and cost specifications, with optimised trajectories. This paper first presents a single train trajectory optimisation to minimise overall energy consumption. It then explores how errors in train position data affect the total consumed energy, with regard to the tractive force due to gradient when following the optimised trajectory. A genetic algorithm is used to optimise the train speed profile. The results from simulation indicate that a basic GPS system for specifying train position is sufficient to save energy via an optimised train trajectory. The authors investigate the effect of error in positioning data, to guarantee the reliability of employing the optimised solution for saving energy whilst maintaining an acceptable journey time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation (ICIRT)2016
PublisherIEEE Xplore
ISBN (Print)9781509015566
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
EventIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation, 2016 - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 201625 Aug 2016


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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