Title

COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF EXISTING AND INNOVATIVE RAIL-ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT TERMINALS

Authors

A Ballis
J Golias

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

infrastructure - track, economics - appraisal/evaluation, mode - bus, mode - rail

Keywords

Truck terminals, Tracks, Terminals (Transportation), Terminal operations, Technological innovations, Simulation, Railroad tracks, Railroad terminals, Materials handling equipment, Logistics, Layout, Knowledge based systems, Intermodal terminals, Handling equipment, Freight transportation support businesses, Freight terminals, Freight handling equipment, Expert systems, Evaluation, Design of specific facilities, Depots (Transportation), Cost estimating, Computer simulation, Cargo handling personnel, Cargo handling equipment, Business logistics, Advanced technology, Access

Abstract

The efficiency of intermodal transport could be increased through technical and logistics developments. This paper evaluates and recommends such developments for rail-road transport terminals. The main design parameters are identified and analyzed: length and utilization of transshipment tracks; train and truck arrival behavior/patterns; type and number of handling equipment; mean stacking height in the storage area; and terminal access system and procedures. A comparative evaluation of selected conventional and advanced technologies is performed by use of an analysis tool developed for that purpose. This tool consists of three modules: an expert system; a simulation model; and a cost calculation module. The overall outcome of the analysis is a number of cost-versus-volume curves for various terminal configurations. Two groups of results are presented. The first is a comparative evaluation of conventional and advanced technologies that reveals similarities in terms of track numbers and the associated area requirements as well as differences in terms of layout flexibility, number of equipment, stacking policies and personnel requirements. Each design is proved effective for a certain cargo volume range. The second group of results is a critical assessment of terminal capacity issues. The evaluation suggests that capacity limitations are not imposed by the handling equipment, but rather by the sidings/transshipment track sub-system.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564