IIT-B Professors Help the Railways Design Timetables in Less Than 5 Minutes. Here’s How!

A team of professors has collaborated with the Central Railway to write algorithms that’d help create timetables in under five minutes.

The complex timetable of the local trains that takes over a fortnight to prepare is one of the most time-consuming responsibilities of the railway officials. Well, not anymore!

A team of professors from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) has collaborated with the Central Railway to write algorithms that’d create timetables in under five minutes.

Image for representation only. Source: By Shan.H.Fernandes, via Wikimedia Commons

According to a report by The Times of India, the team has developed a software that can be used to create the suburban railway schedules. Unifying the many processes the staff would need to employ manually, the software creates a periodic timetable in a jiffy.

Aside from reducing the time required to draw up the timetables, the new system also takes into account issues like fluctuating number of rakes, availability of platforms at certain terminals, and various everyday glitches and deficiencies.

The software is expected to be adopted by suburban rail networks across the country with small tweaks to suit each city’s requirements in near future.

Professors Narayan Rangaraj and Madhu Belur, M Tech scholar Soumya Dutta, and Central Railway’s deputy chief operations manager (goods) KN Singh presented the software in front of the railway’s operations department.

“This will not only help us in more efficient and easier planning but also give us a lot of options for adopting time tables for suburban operations according to our needs,” said Central Railway’s chief public relations officer Narendra Patil. The railways has been working on the project in collaboration with the professors for the last two years.

The project will also garner international attention as it is slated to be presented at a global seminar by the International Association of Railway Operations Research (IAROR) in France in April.

Also read: Passengers, Police & Doctors Came Together to Help a Woman Deliver a Baby on a Mumbai Local

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