Alternatives for Railroad Traffic Simulation Analysis


Thomas White

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - methods, land use - planning, place - north america, mode - rail


Train traffic, Trade off analysis, Statistical methods, Statistical analysis, Software, Simulation, Railways, Railroads, Railroad traffic, Planning, North America, Needs assessment, Mathematical statistics, Infrastructure, Decision making, Computer simulation, Comparison studies, Alternatives analysis


In North America, the process for determining appropriate railroad infrastructure for new service or an increased volume of existing service usually includes the use of simulation software. Decisions are generally based on statistical analysis of the simulation output. The simulation and analysis that are commonly conducted, however, may not provide an accurate assessment of the adequacy of the infrastructure. Furthermore, the output data comparisons commonly used to describe the effect of infrastructure on traffic may not be easily associated with traffic conditions. These shortcomings can be mitigated with appropriate care in developing the simulation input data and changing the output analysis methodology.