Stochastic delay propagation in railway networks and phase-type distributions

Ludolf E. Meester, Sander Muns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


It is difficult to analyse stochastic models for the propagation of delays in railway networks. It seems that the choice is between very global mathematical (queueing) models at one extreme and simulation models at the other. In this paper we discuss a (fairly general but not too detailed) model for delay propagation and show that in a world of so-called phase-type distributions it is possible to derive secondary delay distributions from primary delay distributions. We shall explain why phase-type distributions and the delay propagation model are suited for each other and show by an example that it is possible to develop algorithms that analyse such networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-230
JournalTransportation Research Part B-Methodological
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • railway networks
  • stochastic delay propagation
  • phase-type distributions


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