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Trial Run

On the afternoon and evening of November 2, a trial run of the Rapid Transit Challenge route was conducted.  The partial route ran from Station X to Station Y using 21 trains and visiting 134 stations, representing the first 25%-30% of the planned route.  (Note: Station names are omitted as our route is valuable intellectual property!)

The  main goal was to test whether the model worked for estimating the time it would take for the route and the results were very encouraging.  After six and a half hours, the actual time was exactly 14 seconds faster than the model projected. The status during the trip ranged from as much as 11.5 minutes behind schedule to 1.5 minutes ahead.  The actual running time (on the train) was slower than the model (300 minutes compared to 292.5), but there was less waiting and transfer time than expected (90 minutes compared to 98).

Over a longer period of a time, there is a greater risk of falling behind schedule, especially since missing a connection overnight could cost as much as 20 minutes (the worst delay was about 10 minutes at Z Station when the train was held outside the station while another train left first). Also, a larger group traveling together will likely be slower.  Even with that, we're very confident about the model.  We could very realistically beat the record by over two hours.