Leveraging Connected Highway Vehicle Platooning Technology to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Train Fleeting Under Moving Blocks
Train following control algorithms developed through this research are critical to future attempts to increase capacity and efficiency through advanced train control systems with moving blocks.
- Principal Investigator
- Dick, Tyler
- Start Date
- End Date
- Research Area(s)
- Funding Source
- U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration
Emerging advanced Positive Train Control systems may allow North American railroads to introduce moving blocks that allow for shorter train headways in the future. Although operating fleets of trains at shorter headways can conceptually increase mainline capacity, small fluctuations in the speed of the lead train may be amplified as each following train reacts and attempts to maintain safe braking headway. The resulting rapid changes in throttle and brake settings can reduce following train fuel efficiency, generate in-train forces, and, as headways fluctuate, diminish any capacity gains from shortened headways. To address this challenge, this research leverages emerging highway vehicle platooning technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of fleeting trains at minimum headways under moving blocks. This technical report summarizes the research, development, and simulation of following train control algorithms for moving block operations. The research was conducted with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of fleeting trains at minimum headways under future moving block control systems. In developing and evaluating potential control algorithms to adapt to heavy haul freight rail applications, the research leveraged existing and developing connected highway vehicle and truck platooning technology. The research was conducted between January 2020 and January 2021 by a consortium led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Michigan Technological University, and Vanderbilt University as academic partners, and New York Air Brake as an industry partner. Download the "Leveraging Connected Highway Vehicle Platooning Technology to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Train Fleeting Under Moving Blocks" study.