Title

OPERATIONAL CAR ASSIGNMENT AT VIA RAIL CANADA

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

infrastructure - rolling stock, planning - methods, mode - rail, mode - car

Keywords

Via Rail Canada, Train consist, Simulation, Service time, Schedules, Routing, Rolling stock, Railroad transportation, Railroad cars, Rail transportation, Passenger trains, Methodology, Methodologies, Maintenance time, Locomotive utilization, Locomotive assignments, Heuristic methods, Constraints, Computer simulation, Column generation, Car assignment, Branch and bound algorithms

Abstract

Increasing the utilization of the rolling stock by better assignment of available locomotives and cars to scheduled trains could possibly reduce costs and improve service for passenger railroads. This paper presents a modeling and solution methodology for a car assignment problem that arises when individual car routings that satisfy all operational constraints must be determined. This methodology considers typical constraints such as maintenance requirements as well as more complex constraints such as minimum connection times that depend on the positions of the individual cars in a train consist (i.e., units of equipment assigned to the train). The problem is solved heuristically by a branch-and-bound method in which the linear relaxations are solved by column generation. Simulation results show that the solution approach quickly yields quality solutions. VIA Rail Canada is currently evaluating a software system based on this approach.

Comments

Transportation Research Part B Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01912615