ETMET 2013: “Each Ten Minutes a Train” - ProRail(NL)

TMS applied to support the ambition of a passenger train each 10 minutes on a highly congested traffic line

The project was launched to facilitate the growth in demand for railway services (both public and freight), within the densely populated part of The Netherlands, called Randstad. This increase in capacity can be achieved either by building more railway tracks or by utilizing the existing capacity in a better way. The second option was adopted and the ETMET project started on the corridor Amsterdam-Eindhoven, aiming at studying the possibility to grant a frequency of one passenger train every 10 minutes, on a mainly two-track route where will run six intercity trains, six regional trains and two freight trains (total 14 trains) per hour in the morning and evening peak hours.

The idea behind the high-frequency approach is that the railway operation will be similar to the Metro system, where trains run close to each other. Indeed, trains are still scheduled to be separated in time with more or less equal intervals in-between (10 minutes in ETMET experiment). Besides, due to the high number of trains dwelling on stations, no connections between trains need to be defined. This way less delays are transmitted, due to train connections. A simulation study was carried out and TMS was applied to optimise and control rail traffic. Results were compared with those ones obtained by applying the most common control strategies (VaVo and FCFS).