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Revising the UIC 406 Method: Revenue Generating Capacity

[+] Author Affiliations
Melody Khadem-Sameni, John Preston

University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Alex Landex

Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

Paper No. JRC2010-36281, pp. 579-588; 10 pages
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference, Volume 2
  • Urbana, Illinois, USA, April 27–29, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4907-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3867-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The UIC 406 method has been published by the International Union of Railways (UIC) in 2004 and quantifies capacity utilisation for a given infrastructure. It is generally suitable for capacity analysis in European railways that are focused mainly on passenger operations and run according to exact timetables. This method defines railway capacity as “the total number of possible paths in a defined time window, considering the actual path mix or known developments respectively”. To measure the railway capacity consumption, timetable graphs can be used where by the given infrastructure and the type of rolling stock are implicitly included as they determine the size of the blocking stairs. The capacity consumption is measured by compressing the timetable graphs so that the buffer times are equal to zero. This paper adopts a system approach toward railways and describes the interactions between its different subsystems. Infrastructure management is discussed in the context of performance evaluation. The significance of timetable is stressed as what links all railway subsystems together, determining performance of the whole railway system. Timetable characteristics that affect railway capacity are discussed followed by current theoretical methods to evaluate railway capacity by compressing the timetable. Some of the weaknesses of the UIC 406 method are identified and discussed. To tackle them, the authors define a new term as “Revenue generating capacity” that analyses capacity utilisation according to an estimation of revenue, taking into account wider socio-economic benefits. A weighted UIC method that considers a proper weight for different types of trains that takes into account the revenue generated based on the train type, load factor as well as probability and costs of delays is suggested for further research.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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