The WASCAL-Tool: Prediction of Staffing for Train Dispatching as Part of the Design Process of Track Yards

  • Melcher Zeilstra
  • Alfred van Wincoop
  • Jouke Rypkema
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 726)


The Dutch infrastructure manager builds new track yards or enlarges existing track yards to facilitate service and maintenance of new rolling stock to be commissioned next few years. One of the design issues is the choice for a certain level of automation. A high level of automation requires higher investment in technology, but will result in lower mental workload of a train dispatcher and therefore require lower staffing and lower operational costs for the train dispatching process; a low level of automation result in higher mental workload of train dispatchers and has higher operational costs for train dispatching due to higher staffing. Or this design issue the WASCAL-tool was developed. The tool calculates staffing for train dispatching for all levels of automation, currently in operation in the Netherlands. The tool is validated based on observations of train service on several track yards. The output of the tool in terms of staffing is reliable enough for the choices to be made during the design process of a new track yard.


Staffing Workload Train dispatching Prediction Design Track yards Level of automation 



We thank the train dispatchers of the traffic management control room of the city of Groningen and the city of Amersfoort for their support and cooperation during the validation of the tool. We also thank all the other train dispatchers for other track yards in The Netherlands who were involved in the development of the tool.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melcher Zeilstra
    • 1
  • Alfred van Wincoop
    • 1
  • Jouke Rypkema
    • 1
  1. 1.INTERGO Human Factors and ErgonomicsUtrechtThe Netherlands

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