University of Twente Student Theses


Synchronized Crossing with staggered Platforms :Increasing the traffic flow at level-crossings

Hengstum, A.I.F. van (2023) Synchronized Crossing with staggered Platforms :Increasing the traffic flow at level-crossings.

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Abstract:The motivation behind this study, are the traffic volume capacity problems that arise at level-crossings with a high frequency. Due to the high number of closings the traffic flow is constantly interrupted. Therefore, the queues cannot dissolve fast enough which can increase the waiting time to several minutes. In this study, a VISSIM model is made to simulate and evaluate the influence of synchronized crossing of trains and metros at level-crossings on traffic flow. Synchronized crossing is a method where two rail vehicles from opposite directions simultaneously cross. This study focuses on synchronized crossing at a level-crossing with staggered platforms (Dutch: bajonetligging) in front of the crossing. The VISSIM model is a representation of a typical level-crossing where two tracks and a road intersect. This means that the effect of synchronized crossing on the traffic flow can be studied better without outside influences such as intersections and traffic lights (further) along the road. Traffic-related problems at level-crossings occur for various reasons one of them being a long closing time due to passing trains or metros. When the closings are evenly distributed over an hour, the congestion problems are less severe. It becomes problematic when the closings are asymmetrical distributed. For instance, this means that a crossing closes three times in 10 minutes or in some cases that the crossing opens and directly closes again. The result of this, is traffic delay and depending on the layout of the crossing, can also cause blocking of the intersections on the road. Besides this, dangerous situations could occur because people get impatient when the waiting time gets to long. Also, the waiting cars cause much more emission. The next step after building the model was assessing the effect on the traffic flow by simulating a scenario with and without synchronized crossing. The closing time of the crossing can be effected by different factors. The factors that are being research in this study are the speed of the rail vehicle, the length of the rail vehicle, the platform length and the distance between the platform and the crossing. This was done by adding several simulation scenarios for each parameter in the VISSIM model. Besides assessing the effectiveness of synchronized crossing on improving the traffic flow also the applicability of this method is researched. To determine the applicability, interviews were conducted with two people from ProRail and one from RET. In these interviews topics such as policy, timetable scheduling issues and interlocking were discussed. The results show that applying synchronized crossing has a large effect on decreasing the closing time and the queue length. The total closing time is more than halved. The waiting time (delay) of regular traffic decreases from several minutes to tenth of seconds. While the queues do not dissolves every time after each closing, the queue length is considerable shortened. However, the influence on the closing time of the speed and length factors were statistically very small. These factors do not add significantly to the effect of synchronized crossing. In the interviews it became clear that implementing synchronized crossing requires changes when it comes to interlocking systems and timetables. Synchronized crossing may fix the problem at level-crossings, but the problems will most likely move to other parts of the PT network.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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