, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 125–142 | Cite as

A column generation approach to train timetabling on a corridor

  • Valentina Cacchiani
  • Alberto Caprara
  • Paolo Toth
Regular paper


We propose heuristic and exact algorithms for the (periodic and non-periodic) train timetabling problem on a corridor that are based on the solution of the LP relaxation of an ILP formulation in which each variable corresponds to a full timetable for a train. This is in contrast with previous approaches to the same problem, which were based on ILP formulations in which each variable is associated with a departure and/or arrival of a train at a specific station in a specific time instant, whose LP relaxation is too expensive to be solved exactly. Experimental results on real-world instances of the problem show that the proposed approach is capable of producing heuristic solutions of better quality than those obtained by these previous approaches, and of solving some small-size instances to proven optimality.


Train timetabling ILP-formulation Column generation Separation Constructive heuristics Experimental results 

MSC Classification

90B06 90C10 90C57 


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Cacchiani
    • 1
  • Alberto Caprara
    • 1
  • Paolo Toth
    • 1
  1. 1.D.E.I.S.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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