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Issues regarding environment sustainability and energy saving have been receiving much concern in worldwide railway society. Energy saving via train operation and regulation is a cost-effective way and has become an issue to be considered while performing train operation and regulation. Automatic train regulation (ATR) plays an important role in maintaining metro service quality; however, designing ATR is an optimisation problem with large scale, high non-linearity, heavy constraints and stochastic characteristics. Considering issues regarding energy saving in the ATR design would further complicate the optimisation problem. A model describing traffic environment associated with energy consumption was investigated and developed; and then the dual heuristic programming was employed for designing ATR with energy saving via coasting and station dwell control. A simulation test of the ATR design was conducted with field data. The simulation shows better traffic regulation with less energy consumption is attainable with the ATR design.