Resilience in railway transport systems: a literature review and research agenda

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Critical infrastructure networks, such as transport and power networks, are essential for the functioning of a society and economy. The rising transport demand increases the congestion in railway networks and thus they become more interdependent and more complex to operate. Also, an increasing number of disruptions due to system failures as well as climate changes can be expected in the future. As a consequence, many trains are cancelled and excessively delayed, and thus, many passengers are not reaching their destinations which compromises customers need for mobility. Currently, there is a rising need to quantify impacts of disruptions and the evolution of system performance. This review paper aims to set-up a field-specific definition of resilience in railway transport and gives a comprehensive, up-to-date review of railway resilience papers. The focus is on quantitative approaches. The review analyses peer-reviewed papers in Web of Science and Scopus from January 2008 to August 2019. The results show a steady increase of the number of published papers in recent years. The review classifies resilience metrics and approaches. It has been recognised that system-based metrics tend to better capture effects on transport services and transport demand. Also, mathematical optimization shows a great potential to assess and improve resilience of railway systems. Alternatively, data-driven approaches could be potentially used for detailed ex-post analysis of past disruptions. Finally, several rising future scientific topics are identified, spanning from learning from historical data, to considering interdependent critical systems and community resilience. Practitioners can also benefit from the review to understand a common terminology, recognise possible applications for assessing and designing resilient railway transport systems.


Seiten (von - bis)457-478
FachzeitschriftTransport reviews
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 3 Juli 2020
Extern publiziertJa

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-4111-2255/work/142246322


ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • data-driven, freight, model-driven, passenger, railway, Resilience