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Erwin Abbink

Erwin Abbink

Erwin Abbink

Head of Innovation and Analytics at Netherlands Railways

Erwin Abbink holds a MSc in Operations Research and a MSc in Information and Knowledge Technology. Currently, he is a Head of Innovation and Analytics at Netherlands Railways. His main focus is on leading the development of Decision Support Systems and Advanced Analytics. He has a broad experience in logistics and disruption management for railway systems. In 2004 he was a finalist in the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice with a paper on Crew Scheduling at Netherlands Railways. In 2008 he was winner of the Franz Edelman Excellence in Practice award. Based on this work he received a PhD degree on Crew Management in 2014 at the Rotterdam School of Management.

Track: Optimization

Tuesday, April 16, 1:50–2:40pm

Innovative Rolling Stock Scheduling in Railroad Operations: Optimizing Seat Probability

In this presentation, we discuss a new innovative rolling stock scheduling approach. In this approach, smart card data are used to estimate the number of passengers per train between every pair of stops. Instead of a fixed estimate (e.g. the mean, or the median), we use the complete distribution of expected passenger demand in our rolling stock optimization model.With this integration of passenger routing and rolling stock scheduling, we can optimize the seat probability. The potential benefits of this approach have an equivalent in cost savings of about 50 million Euro per year. Seat probability is one of the main KPIs in the contract between the Dutch government and NS, the main Dutch railway operator. In 2019, a mid-term review of the current concession will take place and all KPIs have a set target for this specific year. For the seat probability KPI, a significant improvement needed to be achieved. As a pilot, the sprinter light train (SLT) fleet was scheduled with the new approach and evaluated in April 2018. Results of this pilot looked very promising for the complete set of schedules. By using this new innovative approach to compute the complete rolling stock schedule starting from December 2018 NS will be able to achieve the seating probability target. Using this new optimization method also required changing the working methods to a large extend. Both on the level of the planning experts as well as on company policies. We will discuss how we supported this transformation.