Decision Support System to Make Crew Links
The crew is an expensive resource and works under strict guidelines. They must take adequate rest before every trip, must not work beyond certain number of hours in a single duty, should get periodic rest, etc. The crew optimization is an NP hard problem in Operations Research. We have innovated the algorithms and put them in decision support system to make crew links scientifically. This will optimize crew utilization while satisfying all constraints. The algorithms give sufficient manual controls so that driving pattern is not drastically changed. We make sure that total mileage in a crew link remains close to the original level.
Currently we are in a position to make crew links for daily trains only. However, we are working on developing algorithms for non-daily trains too.BENEFITS of BETTER CREW LINKS
- Increased length in single journeys.
- Efficient round trips from crew base station to out station and back.
- Efficient link of round trips by incorporating periodic rest at appropriate place in the link.
- Optimum distribution of headquarter rest, out station rest and periodic rest satisfying all crew booking rules.
- Elimination of short trips,
- Reduction of excess running room rest,
- Timely periodic rest,
- More mileage and
- More time at home leading to happy work-life balance.
As an illustration, increasing crew link hours per fortnight from 90 to 104 will save 15% crew. A zone having 300 drivers in coaching links will save 45 drivers, 45 assistant drivers and 45 guards We can safely save more than Rs. 10 crore in salaries per year per zone. The payback period of the service is less than a month.FREQUENCY of CHANGES in CREW LINKS
Crew links are changed for obvious reasons like introduction of new trains, increase in frequency of existing trains, and changes in train timings. Many other operational changes also require new crew links. Some of them are - change of traction from diesel to electric; change of conventional passenger rakes to MEMU or DMU. These incremental changes also need new crew links.CREW LINK SERVICES
We have three services to cater to frequent changes in crew links
- Crew Link Silver- We will make crew links for daily trains once only.
- Crew Link Gold- Apart from making the crew links once, we will also provide 3 more crew links during the year to manage the need for new links due to time table and operational changes.
- Crew Link Platinum- Apart from making the crew links once, we will also provide 11 more crew links during the year. This will take care of time table and operational changes throughout the year.