TrainOptimizer 2.0

The aim of the TrainOptimizer 2.0 project is to develop simulation software that will help manufacturers and operators of public transport vehicles to evaluate and optimise their efficiency in terms of passenger exchange time, space utilisation, passenger comfort, luggage accommodation, achievable occupancy rate and accessibility.

Client: National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development; Fast Track Digital 1st call for proposals, 2020

Duration:September 2021 to August 2023 (24 months)

Project partners:Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Transportation; IT-Experience Informationstechnologie GmbH; Seven Fountains IT Solutions GmbH; Elisabeth Oberzaucher e.U.

LOI partners: Siemens Mobility Austria GmbH; Alstom Deutschland AG; Stadler Rheintal AG; Verband der Bahnindustrie; Interautomation Deutschland GmbH; OpenTrack Railway Technology GmbH; DB Fernverkehr AG; DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH Australia; ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG; WESTBahn Management GesmbH; ÖBB-Holding AG; Ötztaler Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH; NÖVOG; a|p|t design; Andreas Vogler Studio; Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs; Club 81 – St.Pölten; Austrian Council for the Disabled; Aston University Birmingham; University of Zagreb; University of Zilina; German Centre for Space and Aviation e.V.

Project description: The interior design of public transport vehicles has a significant influence on passenger behaviour. Interiors of long-distance trains, which for example follow the idea of increasing efficiency by maximising the number of seats are inefficient in reality, as this planning means that there are hardly any, if any, suitable luggage storage areas for customers. This leads to many pieces of luggage that cannot be stowed, with the effect that seats obstructed by luggage cannot be used and the passenger exchange takes significantly longer! Scientific studies show that on peak travel days up to 20% of seats are unusable and passenger exchange time can triple compared to ideal designs! This leads to decreasing capacity and higher energy consumption, as longer dwell time at stations means that the travel speed on the line has to be higher in order to keep to the timetable. In terms of the sustainability of public transport, the vehicles must be optimised in such a way that a maximum possible degree of utilisation and the shortest possible passenger exchange time can actually be achieved.

Based on 20 years of research in the field of passenger behaviour, macrosimulation software was developed in order to be able to use it to assess vehicle layouts for precisely these issues. However, with the help of a microsimulation, much more accurate, comprehensive and realistic calculations of passenger behaviour can be carried out. In order to establish this tool in the industry and to ensure frustration-free and more effective interaction with it, a perfected easy-to-use 3D editor must also be developed. This will enable much more efficient and sustainable vehicle layouts to be planned in a shorter time. So far, there are only microsimulation tools for simulating passenger flows in buildings, which can theoretically also be applied to vehicles. However, these do not address all the issues in the area of luggage accommodation and deliver incorrect results in the area of passenger exchange time, as the behaviour of people outdoors or in buildings is not comparable with the behaviour of passengers in trains.

The aim and result of TrainOptimizer 2.0 is the development of an innovative microsimulation tool including an easy-to-use 3D editor for optimising vehicle layouts. This allows the results regarding passenger behaviour to be mapped not only much more accurately but also thematically more comprehensively (including questions on accessibility, comfort factors and equal usability). It enables very accurate evaluations of vehicles and thus significantly more efficient and sustainable as well as equally accessible vehicles to be developed.

Contact: DI Dr. Bernhard Rüger