Licentiate thesis 2006-005

A Human-Computer Interaction Approach to Train Traffic Control

Arvid Kauppi

30 May 2006


Train traffic in Sweden have increased over the last years and is today at an all time high. At the same time demands for improved punctuality and better predictability are increasing. If it would be possible to improve punctuality and thereby the possibility to use the infrastructural resources more optimally by providing improved systems for controlling train traffic, this could be a very cost efficient way to improve the train traffic.

This thesis addresses research with a primary goal to investigate how, from a Human-Computer Interaction perspective, systems could be designed to better support the human's capacity and capabilities to control train traffic in an efficient way. Earlier research on humans in control of complex systems contributes to this work. One important part of the research is to gain knowledge on how train dispatchers perform their work today and which difficulties that exist. The research has a user centered approach. In close co-operation with train traffic professionals we try to discuss and develop solutions for improving the situation Since the project started in 1996 proposals of new strategies for control and also solutions for how such a system can be designed have been developed and to some extent evaluated.

The Swedish National Rail Administration (Banverket) is now planning to build an operative control system based on control strategies and ideas from this research project.

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