WILLIAM BARTER uses experience from HS2 to show how the techniques of timetable planning support development of a major project, and how timetabling practices need to evolve to reflect high-speed operations
In a major project, it is never too soon to start timetable planning. A ‘development timetable’ tests the capability of intended infrastructure to deliver the proposed service. Drafting a timetable allows operating costs for the business case to be quantified – energy and rolling stock maintenance deriving from vehicle-miles, and crew costs from train-hours, as well as confirming the fleet size need to run the service.
But how to compile a timetable for a railway that does not yet exist?
Computer simulation establishes the inputs to the timetable, and tests potential operation of that timetable.