Improving the Utilization of Regenerative Energy and Shaving Power Peaks by Railway Timetable Adjustment

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Pengling Wang - , Tongji University, ETH Zurich (Author)
  • Nikola Bešinović - , Delft University of Technology (Author)
  • Rob M.P. Goverde - , Delft University of Technology (Author)
  • Francesco Corman - , ETH Zurich (Author)


Employing regenerative braking in trains contributes to reducing the amount of energy used, especially when applied to commuter trains and to those used on very dense suburban networks. This paper presents a method to fine-tune the periodic timetable to improve the utilization of regenerative energy and to shave power peaks while maintaining the structure and robustness of the original timetable. First, a mixed-integer linear programming model based on the periodic event scheduling framework is proposed. A set of feasible timetables is determined and optimized with the aim of increasing synchronized acceleration and braking events at the same station, and maintaining the timetable robustness at the specified level. Next, a local search algorithm is developed to optimize the timetable such that the power peak value is minimized. The max-plus system model is adopted to estimate the delay propagation. Monte Carlo simulation is used to evaluate the utilization of regenerative energy and power peaks in random delayed circumstances. The proposed method was adopted to fine-tune the 2019 timetable for a sub-network of the Dutch railway. In the case of on- time scenarios, the optimized timetable increases the regenerative energy usage by almost 290% and decreases the 15-minute power peaks by 8.5%. In the case of delay scenarios, the optimized timetable outperforms the original timetable in terms of using regenerative energy and shaving power peaks.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15742-15754
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-4111-2255/work/142246312



  • power peak shaving, Railway timetabling, utilization of regenerative energy