FREIGHT CAR UTILIZATION AND RAILROAD RELIABILITY: THE APPLICATION OF AN INVENTORY MODEL TO THE RAILROAD EMPTY CAR DISTRIBUTION PROCESS. STUDIES IN RAILROAD OPERATIONS AND ECONOMICS. VOLUME 25

This report applies inventory control concepts to the problem of sizing empty car inventories at points on railroad networks. Existing car distribution techniques typically flow empty cars from surplus to deficit areas, without considering the inherent variability in both the supply and the demand for empty cars. This report presents a discrete event simulation model of a single terminal area that can estimate optimal inventory levels as a function of supply and demand variability and the cost of holding empty cars for distribution relative to the cost of falling to provide empty cars when required by shippers. The model shows how inventory requirements drop with improvements in trip time reliability, with reductions in variability of supply or demand, and with reductions in the cost of unfilled orders relative to the holding cost. In a preliminary analysis, the model indicated that an excessive inventory was maintained in one surplus area. The report concludes with recommendations for using the model to size empty car inventories on a railroad.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Also pub. as Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge. Center for Transportation Studies, Rept. no. MIT-CTS-78-2. See also PB-285242.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association of American Railroads

    Freight Car Utilization Program, 1920 L Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20036

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Center for Transportation Studies, Room 1121
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02139

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Policy and Program Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Authors:
    • Philip, C E
  • Publication Date: 1978-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 143 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00182082
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: AAR-R-287 Final Rpt., FRA/OPPD-78/19
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FR-65146
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1978 12:00AM