THE IRON HIGHWAY AND ITS EFFECTS ON INTERMODAL TERMINAL DESIGN AND OPERATIONS

The purpose of this paper is to describe the unique intermodal terminals that will support the Iron Highway, a new, radically different intermodal technology designed to make rail-intermodal price and service competitive in markets currently unserviceable. Several types of terminals and their markets are examined, including sites in major metropolitan, seasonal agricultural, and dedicated industrial areas. The Iron Highway combines an innovative railroad technology with a traditional intermodal operation--circus loading. The basic unit of the Iron Highway is a 1200 ft (366 m) long, self-propelled, bidirectional element consisting of a self-propelled, continuous flat deck with a split-ramp loader at its center and control cabs at either end. Trains of up to five elements may be made. Standard highway trailers ranging in length from 28 ft (8.5 m) to 57 ft (17.4 m) can be quickly loaded onto the deck by a single operator using a hostler tractor. Typically an element would carry 20 trailers. Terminal requirements for the Iron Highway are minimal. Terminals can be built anywhere along a rail line that has sufficient room for a siding and convenient highway access. No mechanized lift equipment is needed. Terminals can be established where they most conveniently serve the customer, thus minimizing truck-haul and lowering drayage costs. The simplicity, flexibility, and lower cost of Iron Highway terminals will create new opportunities for railroads in the intercity freight market.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 253-265
  • Monograph Title: INTERMODAL FREIGHT TERMINAL OF THE FUTURE
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00723862
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 25 1996 12:00AM