Third-Cycle Courses

Faculty of Engineering | Lund University

Details for the Course Syllabus for Course VTV030F valid from Autumn 2023

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  • English
  • Every other autumn semester
  • Students go from the basics of railway transportation (such as running time calculation, graphical timetables, delays and punctuality), through more advanced concepts (such as capacity allocation and utilisation, timetable quality and robustness, etc.), up to the research frontier. The overall aim is to prepare students to write academic papers in the railway transportation domain.
  • Capacity and timetable planning, including:
    • Run, dwell, headway, and buffer times.
    • Stopping patterns, meetings, passes and associations between trains.
    • Cyclical and noncyclical timetables, homogenous and heterogenous operations, maintenance works.
    • The capacity allocation process, prioritisation criteria.
    • Timetable quality, robustness, and how to achieve them.

    Analysis of delays and punctuality, including:
    • Arrival, departure, dwell, and run time delays.
    • The distribution of delays in size, space, and time.
    • Valuation of delay time, quality/delay fees, and recourse.
    • Punctuality, regularity, and influencing factors.
    • Measurement and evaluation systems, quality assessment and improvement.
Knowledge and Understanding
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
  • Be able to understand and explain the foundations of railway transportation and the capacity allocation process.
    Be able to read and interpret a graphical timetable.
    Be able to understand and explain the terms capacity and punctuality and what influences them.
Competences and Skills
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
  • Be able to independently seek and utilise relevant research literature.
    Be able to use SQL to handle and analyse timetable and delay data in a database environment using SQL.
    Be able to construct graphical timetables for mixed railway operations.
    Be able to calculate and describe relevant key performance indicators for actual and scheduled operations, with regards to capacity utilisation, robustness, and punctuality.
Judgement and Approach
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
  • Be able to demonstrate an open, constructive, and reflective approach to their own learning and work, as well as that of their peers, through participating in seminars and peer-review.
    Be able to critically evaluate railway operations and give constructive, targeted advice to improve railway operations based on timetables, delay data, and research literature.
    Be able to write a paper which could be presented at a conference or in a journal within the domain.
Types of Instruction
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Exercises
  • Project
  • Self-study literature review
Examination Formats
  • Written report
  • Seminars given by participants
  • Failed, pass
Admission Requirements
  • MSc or comparable in relevant subject
Assumed Prior Knowledge
Selection Criteria
  • To be prioritised for admission to the course, applicants have to be part of a doctoral programme. PhD students from LTH will be prioritised.
  • Palmqvist, C.W.: Delays and Timetabling for Passenger Trains. Lund University, 2019. ISBN 9789178953103.
    Vromans, M.: Reliability of Railway Systems. TU Delft. ISBN 9058920895.
    Watson, R.: Train Planning in a Fragmented Railway: A British Perspective. Loughborough University, 2008.
    Goverde, R.: Punctuality of Railway Operations and Timetable Stability Analysis. TU Delft, 2005.
    Sone, S.: High-speed, high-density train allocation. WIT, 1994.
    Olsson, Nils O.E. & Haugland, H.: Influencing Factors on Train Punctuality - Results from Some Norwegian Studies. 2004.
    Gorman, M.: Statistical Estimation of Railroad Congestion Delay. 2009.
    Xia, Y., Ommeren, Jos N. Van, Rietveld, P. & Verhagen, W.: Railway Infrastructure Disturbances and Train Operator Performance: The Role of Weather. Elsevier, 2013.
  • A course document further specifies which pages and chapters to read, as well as containing links and DOI:s to papers.
Further Information
Course code
  • VTV030F
Administrative Information
  • 2023-09-21
  • Gudbjörg Erlingsdóttir

All Published Course Occasions for the Course Syllabus

1 course occasion.

Start Date End Date Published
2023‑07‑01 (approximate) 2024‑01‑14

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