Exploring how rail turnouts impact rail replacement outcomes

Brendan Pender, Graham Currie, Alexa Delbosc, Yibing Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


This research paper explores the importance of turnout location on the provision of bus replacement services that are required during periods of service disruption on a railway network. Turnouts allow trains to be guided from one railway track to another, enabling trains to turn around at a point where services are cancelled. They adjoin railway stations that will inevitably serve as an intermediate termination or commencement location on a railway line and where bus replacement services are provided to and from. A theoretical modelling exercise was undertaken to determine the impacts of altering turnout location based on fixed unplanned service disruption assumptions on the Sandringham railway line, in Melbourne's suburban rail network. Attributes such as annual number of disruptions, level of commuter demand and volume of disruptions were assumed. Performance indicators including turnout cost, bus bridging costs and commuter disruption costs were assessed for each option. Results indicate that turnout location plays a significant role on the design of bus replacement services and can be a cost effective means of reducing costs to both users and operators. Based on a cost/benefit analysis for three different turnout locations it was determined that a turnout located in close proximity to the service disruption location provides the best return on investment. Sensitivity analyses tested the number of disruptions per annum and the assumed level of commuter demand. This identified that a minimum of three service disruptions per annum were required to warrant the installation of a turnout at all three locations investigated. Only the preferred turnout location remained viable at lower demand levels. The results have implications for both research and practice. Research in the area of bus replacement has been quite limited. Furthermore although turnout location has been highlighted as affecting service recovery in railway systems it has never been discussed purely in the context of bus replacement planning. Implications for future research and practice are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings
EditorsDr Peter Tisato, Dr Frank Primerano, Dr Nicholas Holyoak, Mr Lindsay Oxlad
Place of PublicationAdelaide SA
PublisherAustralasian Transport Research Forum
Pages1 - 17
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780759001695
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011 - Hilton Hotel Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 28 Sept 201130 Sept 2011
Conference number: 34th
https://www.australasiantransportresearchforum.org.au/papers/2011 (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2011
Abbreviated titleATRF 2011
OtherInformation that appears as the header for all articles from this conference

Australasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings
28 - 30 September 2011, Adelaide, Australia
Publication website: http://www.patrec.org/atrf.aspx
Internet address

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