Departure Side Platforms: a road congestion mitigation measure

Aerial photograph of road

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of level crossings closures on traffic congestion at crossings adjacent to or in the close proximity of railway stations, proposing the theory that making alterations to the infrastructure of the station can derive a reduction of intersection closure periods at these locations. These infrastructure alterations relate to the platform arrangements at stations, presenting an opportunity to mitigate road closure periods at level crossing intersections, thus alleviating road traffic congestion.

To test the theory, named Departure Side Platforms (DSP), the station environment of one station on the Melbourne rail network was simulated using computer traffic simulation software that allows the user total control of the environment and the transport network emulated, including vehicles types, traffic composition, intersection controls and the general environment. The simulation process was conducted in two phases, one to emulate the current environment and the other to emulate the proposed environment.

Simulation results testing single, two-train and multiple-train arrivals and departures at the current and proposed environment, confirmed the platform repositioning approach of the new theory, results in mitigating road traffic congestion at level crossings railway station precincts. Further, results confirm, using three different road traffic volume levels, that the theory works when both single and multiple train arrivals and departures are in operation at the level crossing; the simulation results further confirmed that under the proposed platform environment, continual level crossing closures of more than two trains would no longer occur.

Reference

GUZMAN, W., YOUNG, L. AND PESZYNSKI, K. (2015). Departure Side Platforms: a road congestion mitigation measure. The Conference of Australian Institutes of Transport Research (CAITR) (2015).