Establishing a unit train operation requires input from the shipper, receiver, and the railroad. The shipper must furnish his loading capability, including limitations, to determine the amount of time required for loading. The receiver should supply the unloading conditions as well as the annual volume to be moved. With this information the transportation department determines the transit time, and adds the time required for loading and unloading which provides the cycle time. The number of cars required and train size are then determined, based upon the cycle times and annual volume to be moved, bearing in mind that the optimum train is the maximum number of cars in each train that will remain active in a continuous cycle (MOPAC maximum is 110 cars). The operating parameters are furnished to the cost department to develop the cost of operation. The parameters and costs are then forwarded to the pricing department for determining the freight rate to be published. Coal unit train rates are unique in that each movement is based upon the cost factors that apply to the specific movement. There are no relationships between movements. Each unit train system is developed and priced on its own circumstances. In order to insure feasibility in a unit train operation, the transportation department utilizes train performance simulators to measure accurately such things as locomotive and fuel requirements, draw bar stress, train speeds, running time schedules, and maximum train size, so that a real-time efficient operation is worked out and made ready for implementation. The one requirement necessary to justify a unit train operation is that annual volume must be sufficient to keep the equipment in a continuous cycle; otherwise, the economics of this method of transporting coal are lost.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • In Coal production and transportation: third annual conference, 1977; San Francisco, PLM, Inc.
  • Corporate Authors:

    PLM, Incorporated

    1 Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco, CA  United States  94111
  • Authors:
    • Stanislaus, J L
  • Publication Date: 1977

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00174361
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 18 1978 12:00AM