Application of Regenerative Braking with Optimized Speed Profiles for Sustainable Train Operation

Leon Allen, Steven Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents a method for synergizing the energy-saving strategies of integrated coasting and regenerative braking in urban rail transit operations. Coasting saves energy by maintaining motion with propulsion disabled, but it induces longer travel time. Regenerative braking captures and reuses the braking energy of the train and could shorten travel time but reduces the time available for coasting, indicating a tradeoff between the two strategies. A simulation model was developed based on fundamental kinematic equations for assessing sustainable train operation with Wayside Energy-Saving Systems (WESSs). The objective of this study is to optimize speed profiles that minimize energy consumption, considering the train schedule and specifications, track alignment, speed limit, and the WESS parameters such as storage limit and energy losses in the transmission lines. The decision variables are the acceleration at each time step of the respective motion regimes. Since the study optimization problem is combinatorial, a Genetic Algorithm was developed to search for the solution. A case study was conducted which examined various scenarios with and without WESS on a segment of an urban rail transit line to test the applicability of the proposed model and to provide a platform for the application of ideas developed in this study. It was determined that synergizing the energy-saving strategies of coasting and regenerative braking yielded the greatest efficiency of the scenarios examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8555372
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management


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