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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3047963, 10 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3047963
Research Article

An Objective Train Timetabling Quality Evaluation Method

School of Transportation and Logistics, National Railway Train Diagram Research and Training Center, National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Comprehensive Intelligent Transportation, 111 North 1 Section, Beierhuan Road, Jinniu District, Chengdu 610031, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Shao-quan Ni; moc.621@nauqoahsin

Received 8 October 2016; Revised 14 December 2016; Accepted 9 May 2017; Published 5 June 2017

Academic Editor: Andrea L. Facci

Copyright © 2017 Feng Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The train timetable dominates the rail traffic organization. The timetabling quality should be evaluated to check the work skill of train timetable managers. The values of existing timetable evaluation indexes vary with infrastructure features and traffic flow; therefore, they are not comparable in fact. Furthermore, subjective inputs like expert scores are involved in evaluation; this will lead to unreliable results because the experts may have different opinions. To overcome these shortages, we propose a relative train path efficiency index by taking the train paths as production units. Each unit consumes some transport resources and produces some feedback outputs. A DEA model is applied to compute the train path efficiency. Two statistical functions of train path efficiency are used to evaluate the timetabling quality. We verify our method with real-world timetables. First, we use the Shibantan-to-Xinqiao line timetable to test the relative feature of the index proposed, and the results show that the train path efficiency value is relative and can reflect whether the stops are evenly distributed or not. Second, we evaluate the timetabling quality of another two timetables of the Qingdao-to-Jinan line with different traffic flows, and the results show that, compared with the 2012 timetable, the timetabling quality decreased in 2013.