Effect of Railway Track Segmentation Method on the Optimal Solution of Tamping Planning Problem

Mohammad Daddow, Xinglin Zhou, Hasan A.H. Naji, Mo'men Ayasrah


The safety and continuality of the railway network are guaranteed by carrying out a lot of maintenance interventions on the railway track. One of the most important of these actions is tamping, where railway infrastructure managers focus on optimizing tamping activities in ballasted tracks to reduce the maintenance cost. To this end, this article presents a mixed integer linear programming model of the Tamping Planning Problem (TPP) and investigates the effect of track segmentation method on the optimal solution by three scenarios. It uses an opportunistic maintenance technique to plan tamping actions. This technique clusters many tamping works through a time period to reduce the track possession cost as much as possible. CPLEX 12.6.3 is used in order to solve the TPP instances exactly. The results show that the total number of machine preparations increases by increasing the number of track segments. It is also found that the total costs increase by 6.1% and 9.4% during scenarios 2 and 3, respectively. Moreover, it is better to consider the whole railway track as a single segment (as in scenarios 1) that consists of a set of sections during the tamping planning in order to obtain the optimal maintenance cost.


Doi: 10.28991/cej-2021-03091774

Full Text: PDF


Maintenance; Tamping Planning Problem; Railway Track; Model; CPLEX.


Wen, M., R. Li, and K.B. Salling. “Optimization of Preventive Condition-Based Tamping for Railway Tracks.” European Journal of Operational Research 252, no. 2 (July 2016): 455–465. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2016.01.024.

Andrade, A. Ramos, and P. Fonseca Teixeira. “Biobjective Optimization Model for Maintenance and Renewal Decisions Related to Rail Track Geometry.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2261, no. 1 (January 2011): 163–170. doi:10.3141/2261-19.

Daddow, Mohammad, Xiedong Zhang, Hongsheng Qiu, Zhihua Zhang, and Yingqi Liu. “A Mathematical Model for Ballast Tamping Decision Making in Railway Tracks.” Civil Engineering Journal 6, no. 10 (October 1, 2020): 2045–2057. doi:10.28991/cej-2020-03091601.

Heinicke, Franziska, Axel Simroth, Guntram Scheithauer, and Andreas Fischer. “A Railway Maintenance Scheduling Problem with Customer Costs.” EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics 4, no. 1 (2015): 113–137. doi:10.1007/s13676-014-0071-3.

Letot, Christophe, Iman Soleimanmeigouni, Alireza Ahmadi, and Pierre Dehombreux. “An Adaptive Opportunistic Maintenance Model Based on Railway Track Condition Prediction.” IFAC-PapersOnLine 49, no. 28 (2016): 120–125. doi:10.1016/j.ifacol.2016.11.021.

Macke, Michael, and Shoko Higuchi. “Optimizing Maintenance Interventions for Deteriorating Structures Using Cost-Benefit Criteria.” Journal of Structural Engineering 133, no. 7 (July 2007): 925–934. doi:10.1061/(asce)0733-9445(2007)133:7(925).

Miwa, Masashi. “Mathematical Programming Model Analysis for the Optimal Track Maintenance Schedule.” Quarterly Report of RTRI 43, no. 3 (2002): 131–136. doi:10.2219/rtriqr.43.131.

Oyama, Tatsuo, and Masashi Miwa. “Mathematical Modeling Analyses for Obtaining an Optimal Railway Track Maintenance Schedule.” Japan Journal of Industrial and Applied Mathematics 23, no. 2 (June 2006): 207–224. doi:10.1007/bf03167551.

Oh, S. M., J. H. Lee, B. H. Park, H. U. Lee, and S. H. Hong. “A Study on a Mathematical Model of the Track Maintenance Scheduling Problem.” Computers in Railways X 88 (June 27, 2006): 85–96. doi:10.2495/cr060091.

Vale, Cecília, Isabel M. Ribeiro, and Rui Calçada. “Integer Programming to Optimize Tamping in Railway Tracks as Preventive Maintenance.” Journal of Transportation Engineering 138, no. 1 (January 2012): 123–131. doi:10.1061/(asce)te.1943-5436.0000296.

Gustavsson, Emil. “Scheduling Tamping Operations on Railway Tracks Using Mixed Integer Linear Programming.” EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics 4, no. 1 (2015): 97–112. doi:10.1007/s13676-014-0067-z.

Daddow, Mohammad, Xiedong Zhang, Hongsheng Qiu, and Zhihua Zhang. “Impact of Unused Life for Track Sections and Available Workforce in Scheduling Tamping Actions on Ballasted Tracks.” KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering 21, no. 6 (2017): 2403–2412. doi:10.1007/s12205-016-0753-5.

Khajehei, Hamid, Mohammad Haddadzade, Alireza Ahmadi, Iman Soleimanmeigouni, and Arne Nissen. “Optimal Opportunistic Tamping Scheduling for Railway Track Geometry.” Structure and Infrastructure Engineering (September 1, 2020): 1–16. doi:10.1080/15732479.2020.1809467.

Zhang, Tao, John Andrews, and Rui Wang. “Optimal Scheduling of Track Maintenance on a Railway Network.” Quality and Reliability Engineering International 29, no. 2 (2013): 285–297. doi:10.1002/qre.1381.

Famurewa, Stephen M, Tao Xin, Matti Rantatalo, and Uday Kumar. “Optimisation of Maintenance Track Possession Time: A Tamping Case Study.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 229, no. 1 (2015): 12–22. doi:10.1177/0954409713495667.

Vale, Cecília, and Isabel M. Ribeiro. “Railway Condition-Based Maintenance Model with Stochastic Deterioration.” Journal of Civil Engineering and Management 20, no. 5 (October 10, 2014): 686–692. doi:10.3846/13923730.2013.802711.

Quiroga, L. M., and E. Schnieder. “A Heuristic Approach to Railway Track Maintenance Scheduling.” Computers in Railways XII (August 4, 2010): 687-699. doi:10.2495/cr100631.

Bakhtiary, Arash, Jabbar Ali Zakeri, and Saeed Mohammadzadeh. “An Opportunistic Preventive Maintenance Policy for Tamping Scheduling of Railway Tracks.” International Journal of Rail Transportation 9, no. 1 (March 17, 2020): 1–22. doi:10.1080/23248378.2020.1737256.

Peralta, Daniel, Christoph Bergmeir, Martin Krone, Marta Galende, Manuel Menéndez, Gregorio I. Sainz-Palmero, Carlos Martinez Bertrand, Frank Klawonn, and Jose M. Benitez. “Multiobjective Optimization for Railway Maintenance Plans.” Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 32, no. 3 (May 2018): 04018014. doi:10.1061/(asce)cp.1943-5487.0000757.

Lee, J. S., Choi, I. Y., Kim, I. K., & Hwang, S. H. (2018). Tamping and renewal optimization of ballasted track using track measurement data and genetic algorithm. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems, 144(3), 04017081. doi:10.1061/JTEPBS.0000120.

Office for Research and Experiments (ORE). "Dynamic vehicle/track interaction phenomena, from the point of view of track maintenance." Question D161, RP3 (1988).

Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC). “Best practice guide for optimum track geometry durability.” UIC Railway Technical Publications (2008).

EN 13848-5. “Railway applications–track–track geometry quality–Part 5: Geometric quality levels.” European Committee for Standardization (CEN) (2008).

AMPL. AMPL Optimization LLC (2021). Available online: https://ampl.com (accessed on January 2021).

CPLEX. IBM ILOG (2021). Available online: https://quebit.com/what-we-offer/products/ibm-products/ibm-decision-optimization-center-ilog-cplex/ (accessed on January 2021).

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2021-03091774


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Mohammad Daddow, Xinglin Zhou, Hasan A.H. Naji, Mo'men Ayasrah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.