Origin-to-destination (O-D) trip times and reliabilities of railroad freight cars as well as car cycle times of selected rail freight services during the period from 1990 to 1991 are documented. Trip times and reliabilities were obtained from samples of car movements obtained from the Association of American Railroad's Car Cycle Analysis System. All car cycles completed during a 12-month period were extracted for a 10% sample of boxcars, grain service covered hoppers, and double-stack intermodal cars. Cycle time information was obtained by using the entire sample for each car type. Trip times and reliabilities were obtained for the largest O-D car movements. Altogether, 477 general merchandise O-D movements, 102 unit train O-D movements, and all O-D movements over the 10 largest double-stack corridors were considered. The study covers movements throughout the United States and Canada. Clear differences in trip times and reliabilities were found for the three services. For general merchandise cars the average loaded trip time was 8.8 days and the average 2-day-percent (the maximum percentage of cars with trip times falling within a 48-hr window) was just under 50%. For unit grain train service in 1991 the average loaded trip time was 5.3 days and the average 2-day-percent was just over 60%. For double-stack train service in 1991 the average ramp-to-ramp trip time was just under 3 days in the long-haul markets (greater than 24,140 km (1,500 mi)) and just over 1 day for the short-haul markets; for both long- and short-haul services the 1-day-percent was about 90%. The average car cycle was 6.2 days for double-stack cars, 15.3 days for covered hopper cars in unit train service, 24.1 days for non-unit train covered hopper cars, and 26.9 days for boxcars.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 1-8
  • Monograph Title: Railroad Transportation Research
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00714799
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061555
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1995 12:00AM