A Mathematical Model for Ballast Tamping Decision Making in Railway Tracks
Ballast tamping is considered as an important maintenance process for railway infrastructures and has a large influence on the capacity of any railway networks. But optimizing the plan of that process is a complex problem with a high cost. This paper discusses optimizing tamping operations on ballasted tracks to improve the track geometry and reduce the total maintenance cost. A mathematical model for this problem in the literature is improved here by including the restriction on the resources (tools, workers and budget) in the model and including constant/variable values for track possession cost and available resources. The optimal solutions obtained for all instances are found by using the global optimization. Besides, a numerical study is presented to test and evaluate the model performance. The results show that the proposed model can be adopted by the infrastructure manager (IM) to make suitable tamping scheduling decisions under normal or private conditions; however, the private conditions lead to an increase of the final cost compared to that of the normal ones.
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