Crew Pairing and Unit Diagramming in Passenger Rail
The process of scheduling resources in a railway company is extremely complex and time consuming. It involves management of rolling stock, the scheduling of drivers, train managers, maintenance staff and so on, and interchanges with external players such as railway network managers, and Public Transport Authorities.
Learn more about crew and unit diagramming in the Rail Planning Brochure.
Crew pairing or diagramming
Crew pairing is a difficult, stressful balancing act that encompasses labor rules, service level agreements, legislation, directives, operational incompatibilities and staff preferences – not to mention last minute, real-world scheduling disturbances.
The time consuming complexity of the task has generally dictated a pragmatic line of attack – for most companies the objective is restricted simply to getting a workable plan out of the door rather than aspiring to a better or best plan.
The optimizer uses algorithms that are fine-tuned to the company’s processes and business rules. However, optimizers do have their limitations. As mathematical engines, they are unable to interpret rules or apply judgment in the way an experienced planner might do. An ideal planning solution puts the planner in control, using recommendations from the optimizer to arrive at a best plan, rather than simply a workable plan.
Key Features and Benefits
- Resource utilization optimization - Optimally schedule your rolling stock
- Skill based planning - Schedule drivers and crew while taking into consideration skills, certifications, and route and traction knowledge
- Balance assignments - Reduce the number of empty trains; ensure crews end shifts at their home depots
- Employee preferences support - Increases employee satisfaction, retention and efficiency
- Daily operational control - Confidently handle real-time disturbances and schedule changes
- Reporting and management data - Receive valuable data to support accurate decision making
- Customizable interfaces - Meet the different planning needs of multiple planners
- KPI analyses - Gain insight into the effects planning has on business goals.