The main objective of OptiYard is to improve capacity and service reliability by focusing on Yard Operations, namely by providing an optimised decision support system for Yard Managers. Specifically, OptiYard will address the following objectives:
- Automate yard management optimization: an innovative algorithm to automate and optimize the organization of the processes to be performed in a marshaling yard will be delivered;
- Real-time interaction with the surrounding railway network: a novel decision support tool for automated ad-hoc timetabling and traffic management to include the yard management in a globally optimized system will be produced;
- Simulate intelligent real-time yard operations: the project will build on a state-of-the-art yard simulation platform compatible with short term innovations, in order to achieve improved modeling and communication system, and to integrate optimized decisions into the real-time simulation;
- Improve information and communication processes: new effective structures for the flows of data towards and from the terminals, necessary for communication and information sharing between infrastructure managers and railway undertakings for yard management will be defined;
- A technical demonstrator in the form of a fully functional software module will be built to show how the developed intelligent real-time simulation can provide concrete and validated optimal decision support for dispatchers in yards, with a link to network management.
OptiYard addresses explicit simulation modelling of the real-time operations in yard and the relevant network eco system, and explicit process optimisation to generate the optimal decisions to manage the yard operations and the network traffic flows. We propose to fully specify an intelligent simulation environment for an integrated rail freight yard and relevant network eco system management.
OptiYard specifically falls under Innovation Programme (IP) 5 – Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight. The intention is to deliver outputs at this level to be taken forward in the project addressing Shift2Rail members only call S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2011, “Startup activities for freight automation”. Several of the partners in this call already work with S2R members (see related projects list), and a good working relationship is foreseen to enable transfer of outputs to S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2011. The project is therefore not limited to report format deliverables or article publication, but will contribute directly to the S2R Technology Demonstrators TD5.2
OptiYard will focus on lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) development, up to TRL4, and by the end of the project will be ready to deliver outputs to rail industry partners who are better placed to take these forward to higher TRL demonstration, and then to deployment.