Mueller, F., Schmidt, K., Guerster, M., Obrenovic, N., and Bierlaire, M. (2019)

Model-based economic analysis of electrification in railway - Understanding the impact of track, operations, and uncertainties

19th Swiss Transport Research Conference, Ascona, Switzerland

This paper presents results on the impact of different tracks on the economic viability of track electrification for regional railway. Since regional railway still heavily relies on pollutive diesel propulsion systems, track electrification can be key to reduce CO2 emissions. While complex methods exist to assess the economic viability track per track, little work has been done to study the impact of widely varying track parameters and uncertainties. The proposed approach utilizes a model to simulate vehicle power management for a given track. Based on these outputs, we develop and validate a cost model to compute the life cycle costs for diesel and electric track operation. A sensitivity analysis with regard to track parameters, operational parameters, and economic uncertainties reveals where track electrification is economically beneficial. Furthermore, we provide the reader with a set of criteria to support decision in future electrification projects. The main conclusion is that diesel and electrical drivetrain have a similar total cost, but a different composition.