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A review of modelling and optimisation methods applied to railways energy consumption

Martínez Fernández, Pablo, Villalba Sanchís, Ignacio, Yepes, Víctor, Insa Franco, Ricardo
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.222 pp. 153-162
algorithms, climate change, deterministic models, energy use and consumption, equations, railroads, system optimization
Railways are a rather efficient transport mean, and yet there is increasing interest in reducing their energy consumption and making them more sustainable in the current context of climate change. Many studies try to model, analyse and optimise the energy consumed by railways, and there is a wide diversity of methods, techniques and approaches regarding how to formulate and solve this problem. This paper aims to provide insight into this topic by reviewing up to 52 papers related to railways energy consumption. Two main areas are analysed: modelling techniques used to simulate train(s) movement and energy consumption, and optimisation methods used to achieve more efficient train circulations in railway networks. The most used methods in each case are briefly described and the main trends found are analysed. Furthermore, a statistical study has been carried out to recognise relationships between methods and optimisation variables. It was found that deterministic models based on the Davis equation are by far (85% of the papers reviewed) the most common in terms of modelling. As for optimisation, meta-heuristic methods are the preferred choice (57.8%), particularly Genetic Algorithms.