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The philosophy and practice of Taktfahrplan: a case-study of the East Coast Main Line.

Tyler, Jonathon (2003) The philosophy and practice of Taktfahrplan: a case-study of the East Coast Main Line. Working Paper. Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds , Leeds, UK.

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Abstract

Executive Summary

This Working Paper has three purposes, represented by three Parts:

- to explain the principles of the Taktfahrplan approach to railway timetabling;

- to summarise the implications of the background research on the structure of the network; and

- to describe the exercise of constructing a Taktfahrplan for the East Coast Main Line that formed the case-study of the potential benefits of such a scheme compared with the existing timetable.

In Part I the broad principles and objectives are first outlined, and the advantages and disadvantages discussed [§ 1.1,1.2]. A Taktfahrplan is based on standard hours and the careful, network-wide coordination of sewices. It is recognised that ultimately the choice between this and conventional timetabling methods must depend on an evaluation of the loss of present flexibility to adjust to time-specific market demands against the gains from enhanced connectivity and from the fact of regularity. Issues concerning resources and the management of peak periods are also explained.

Terminology is then dealt with because words and phrases are being used with imprecise and various meanings [§1.3]. There follows a detailed account of the arithmetic rules through which the ideal relationships between train (and bus) sewices can be attained, together with an explanation of the measures that can be taken to make the best compromises in the face of the characteristics of the real network - or to adjust it over time [§ 1.4].

In Part 2 the research to highlight features of the underlying demand for travel is described. This is not a necessary component of strategic timetable planning, but it is argued that it is desirable in order both to break free from the historical baggage and to seize the business, environmental and social-policy opportunities that a 'clean- sheet' timetable would present [§2.1]. The provisional findings from this work (it was left incomplete for reasons that are explained) are then deployed to form the skeleton of a national network connecting 100 important centres with 158 links.

This is followed by an analysis of the very variable standards of the rail timetable on those links and of the road competition and by an account of some first thoughts as to how a full-scale Taktfahrplan might start to be developed on this network [§2.2]. This emphasises the inter-relationships between sewices and the inescapable consequences for pathing trains, once it is accepted that sensible spacing of services and striving for good connectivity are more important than optimising routes on a self-contained basis. It was thought appropriate to include a summary of the findings regarding the low-density end of the current rail system in order to indicate the issues that Taktfahrplan might raise in this respect [§2.3].

The East Coast case-study is presented in Part 3. Some technical matters are explained first, including the key point that the exercise used the Viriato timetabling software employed by the Swiss Federal Railways (and many other systems) to construct Taktfahrpliine [§3.1]. Successive sub-parts then describe groups of services: long-distance [§3.2], services within Scotland [§3.3], services in North East England [§3.4], the trans-Pennine network [§3.5] and some of the Yorkshire services [§3.6].

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright of the Institute of Transport Studies, University Of Leeds
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 15:03
Published Version: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/
Status: Published
Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Identification Number: Working Paper 579
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2058

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