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After a brief outline of freight rail operations planning, the paper reviews the research and development of optimization and simulation tools to undertake train planning, train and locomotive scheduling, as well as track maintenance planning. Although optimum solutions can be obtained using such tools, they have not been widely embraced by rail organizations. The simplifying assumptions made by most models make their practical application difficult to achieve. Whilst drawing on overseas research, the paper focuses mainly on the Australian experience for operations planning practice. Freight rail market share increases are closely related to the level of service offered, particularly in transit times and reliability of arrivals. Both these two levels of service attributes are associated with track infrastructure design and maintenance ...
As privatisation of railway systems reach the political agendas in a number of countries, the separation of track infrastructure from train operations is seen as providing the vehicle which will improve profitability within the rail industry. This paper deals with three main issues related to such separation within a freight railway focus, namely: investment appraisal; track standards and maintenance; and train operating performance. The conflicts of interest between the owners of track and their client operators are discussed in detail. Costs related to track capacity and congestion need to be taken into account, given that additional trains are likely to lead to increased risk of delays to existing services. The paper discusses the use of a travel time reliability model to estimate the additional costs imposed on the system through t...
It has become generally accepted that to maximise patronage, transit must take people to where they want to go in a timely and convenient fashion. The benchmark in this case may be the most attractive available alternative mode, such as the private car with its door-to-door high level of service. Terms such as ‘integrated’, co-ordinated’ and ‘seamless’ are often associated with transit systems planning, funding, operations and performance monitoring. The paper defines those terms in the different contexts, as well in their broader multi-modal and land use implications. Discussed here are performance indicators which may be used to evaluate the degree to which integration attempts lead to the achievement of overall objectives. Ways in which those measures may be obtained in practice are also canvassed. It is concluded that there is a ne...
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