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For a commercially operating railway company, providing a high level of service for the passengers is of utmost importance. The latter requires high punctuality of the trains and an adequate rolling stock capacity. Unfortunately, the latter is currently (in 2002) one of the bottlenecks in the service provision by the main Dutch railway operator NS Reizigers. Especially during the morning rush hours, many passengers cannot be transported according to the usual service standards because of a shortage of the rolling stock capacity. On the other hand, a more effective allocation of the available rolling stock capacity seems to be feasible, because there are also several trains with some slack capacity.

The effectiveness of the rolling stock capacity is determined mainly by the allocation of the train types and subtypes to the lines. Therefore, we describe in this paper a model that can be used to find an optimal allocation of train types and subtypes to the lines. This optimal allocation is more effective than the manually planned one, which is accomplished by minimizing the shortages of capacity during the rush hours.

The model is implemented in the modeling language OPL Studio 3.1, solved by CPLEX 7.0, and tested on several scenarios based on the 2001–2002 timetable of NS Reizigers. The results of the model were received positively, both by the planners and by the management in practice, because these results showed that a significant service improvement over the manually planned allocation can be achieved within a shorter throughput time of the involved part of the planning process.

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