The fundamental conflicts between trains with different speed profiles and stopping patterns are outlined. The operation of the Northeast Corridor of the National Rail Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is presented as an extreme example, with 13 classes of service over the same tracks. Various methods of handling this problem are discussed with specific applications of the concepts cited. Additional track is the first concept reviewed; both addition of lines to existing routes and construction of new separate right-of-way are considered. Examples of the various methods of increasing the permissible speed of passenger trains on the existing infrastructure through the use of pendular suspension and of interactive systems are explored. The changing nature of freight service in North America is examined and the suggestion is made that the scheduling problems to be faced in operating this service will be very similar to the interface between passenger and freight service today. The role of timetable planning and careful scheduling of trains is explored. The relationship between schedules and track configuration, particularly at line stations, is discussed. The nature of the role of the train dispatcher and his capability is explored. The potential role of the modern computer to convert the time spent on clerical tasks to more useful time resolving transportation problems is outlined. The use of computers to handle actual routine decisions is explored. The development of computer simulation techniques from simple train performance calculators to a planning tool capable of handling extremely complex diagrams is discussed. These tools are now being developed to the point of being able to estimate arrival times, conflict points, and other situations on a real-time basis. Alternative courses of action can be tested quickly on the basis of accurate current information. These tools will be available soon and give the dispatchers the ability to handle increasingly complex traffic situations.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Intercity Passenger Guided Transportation. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Authors:
    • Eisele, Donald O
  • Publication Date: 1985

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 17-22
  • Monograph Title: Railroad productivity
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00455817
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309039207
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 31 1988 12:00AM