In recent years, shippers have not received the number of cars requested at certain times of the year and for certain commodities. Their expressions of concern have created a widespread conviction that an extensive car shortage exists. Since an increase in car utilization would effectively increase the car supply, a research and action program directed at improving car utilization has been prepared. An improvement in car utilization could be achieved by a reduction in the percent of time a car is unserviceable, a reduction in car cycle time, a decrease in empty line haul car miles, an increase in percentage of volume or weight capacity used by shippers, or an increase in revenue per loaded car mile. While estimates of 100 to 200 percent increases in car utilization over present practices have been projected, a significant but smaller increment of improvement is probably all that can be achieved without revolutionary changes on the part of shippers, railroads, and government agencies. A quantitative assessment of the potential for improvement can be made when an adequate data base on car cycles is available. Car utilization is expressed in terms of a wide variety of indices. None is wholly satisfactory for evaluation of all aspects of car utilization, and none in common use permits analysis of the economic effectiveness of use of the car fleet. As a basis for improvement in car utilization, a three phase, eight year program has been recommended. Projects in the first phase, two-year program include: 1. Analysis of current practice and problems; 2. Development of car utilization measurement standards; 3. Collection of data for a more complete car cycle analysis; 4. Recommendation of projects for FRA consideration; 5. Analysis of the impact of AAR and ICC rules, directives, and orders on car utilization; and 6. Study of freight car time reliability. Each of these projects is expected to identify specific opportunities for improvement in car utilization.

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 87 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139444
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Railroads
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R-210
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 1976 12:00AM