A Heuristic Approach to the Railroad Track Maintenance Scheduling Problem

Fan Peng, Seungmo Kang, Xiaopeng Li, Yanfeng Ouyang, Kamalesh Somani, Dharma Acharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Every year, billions of dollars are spent on rail track maintenance to keep the serviceability of the railroad network. These maintenance projects (of different types) must be performed by suitable maintenance teams within a planning horizon. This article presents a time-space network model to solve the track maintenance scheduling problem (TMSP). The objective is to minimize the total travel costs of the maintenance teams as well as the impact of maintenance projects on railroad operation, which are formulated by three types of side constraints: mutually exclusive, time window, and precedence constraints. An iterative heuristic solution approach is proposed to solve the large-scale TMSP model with a large number of side constraints. The proposed model and solution approach are applied to a large-scale real-world problem. Compared to the current industry practice the model outcome eliminated all hard side-constraint violations and reduced the total objective value (travel costs and soft side-constraint violation penalties) by 66.8%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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