Train operations-Rail depot modelling case study


Rail depot modelling

Client
Hitachi / John Laing

Business Need
Evidence the capacity of a new depot and produce a re-usable facility model.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Before funding for a new maintenance depot could be provided, our client required independent verification that the proposed design could meet its contractual requirements. They also required a more detailed understanding of how the depot would actually run.

Frazer-Nash were commissioned to review the proposed layout and determine whether the depot could undertake its required activities (maintenance, cleaning etc), without impacting upon trains ability to meet their scheduled time plan.

OUR SOLUTION

We began by developing a multi-faceted software model which scheduled the expected arrival times for the fleet, along with the work requirements for each individual train. This would assess whether the depot was capable of carrying out the necessary work, without delaying the departure time of the trains - taking into account all the conflicting activities.

This is a complex multi-dimensional problem, where conflicts can easily be disguised by the amount of different parameters that change throughout the analysis. However, this model (which was developed in Excel for easy client use) presents the results a range of user-friendly formats - even animating the activities to simulate exactly how the depot will run.

The model was also used to replicate a number of specific nightly workloads to determine that the proposed depot would provide sufficient capacity to meet network demands, as well as quantifying the amount of additional work that the depot could support if required.

THE RESULTS

The model also highlighted areas where the depot could be developed to provide even more capacity, as well as highlighting areas where cost savings could be made without compromising the depot throughput. Overall, the Frazer-Nash model provided sufficient verification that the depot could not only achieve its contractual performance levels, but provided the further information necessary to justify the substantial investment. 

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