This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 5 2021.
Analysis of rail station capacity is a key function of Network Rail, which owns the over 2,500 train stations across Great Britain.
While it is only responsible for the management of 20 of the biggest and busiest stations, it is the asset owner for all stations and must approve all functional changes to station design and layouts. Station capacity planning has recently become a particularly important topic, given the social distancing guidelines introduced across the public transport network. It is Traffic & Capacity Planning also expected that the successor organisation of Network Rail set out in The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail will have a larger role in the management of stations.
Currently, there are two main options to analyse the capacity of rail stations. The first is to build a very detailed microsimulation model, which usually requires a large amount of data including passenger numbers, accurate station layouts, and calibrated parameters. These models can be expensive to build and need frequent maintenance to ensure that they remain accurate. Hence, they are only used for large stations such as the London Terminals, where there are complex interactions between passengers across multiple concourses, retail facilities, platforms and exits. The second option is spreadsheet-based analysis using simple metrics and KPIs, without detailed representation of station layout and passenger conflicts. Therefore, it may not be able to capture the level of detail required to analyse different station layouts and evaluate possible interventions to manage capacity. While these tools have served planners well in the past, there is a large gap in detail and modelling effort between these two options.
The new tool aims to provide a “middle ground” between high-level analysis and microsimulation, utilising PTV Visum to store data – such as passenger movements – and run the simulation, before exporting a standard set of analyses such as passenger flows and platform densities and clearance times.
In order to verify the acceptability of the flow of passengers, ProRail has commissioned a study using PTV Viswalk, a pedestrian simulation software by PTV.
Zurich Public Transport's existing PTV Viseva model was extended. PTV MaaS Modeller was then used to analyse the interaction between supply and demand.
Applying PTV Viswalk to determine the effects of the planned complete redesign of Lausanne main station on pedestrian flows.
To best meet capacity requirements, SBB has relied heavily on PTV Group's PTV Visum since 2001 for strategic planning and analysis.
Highways England and Centro, have committed to one multi-strategic transport model, PRISM, which has been set up with PTV Visum.
PTV Viswalk allows you to replicate and analyse human walking behaviour, plan pedestrian safety and evacuation measures, assess crowd capacity.
Network Rail adopt a new tool, based on PTV technology, for station planners to analyse detailed passenger movements within their station.
The PTV UK & Ireland User Group Meeting will be held online on the 23rd November. Join them to learn about the newest PTV software features.
Bridgepoint has acquired a stake in PTV Group, the aim is to further expand the company's position as the world's leading software provider.
PTV Group have released a video simulation representing how much road space cars take up along with other modes of transport.
PTV Group will deliver PTV Visum as the new primary travel demand modelling software for the US State of Florida's FDOT.
Bosch and PTV Group are joining forces in an alliance to further improve air quality and reduce traffic-related emissions in cities.
PTV Group, together with a broad-based research team, has been commissioned by BMVI to analyze mobility behavior in the city of Munich.
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