Keep Them Moving

In the business environment of today where railroads are competing head to head with trucks, and often in a tightly structured logistics chain, providing transportation in tandem with those competitors, improved equipment utilization is a large part of the drive to get more capacity out of existing infrastructure. Equipment utilization and asset management mean virtually the same thing: positioning cars, locomotives and crews to support an operating plan. Equally important is: how cars and locomotives are maintained, inspected, and repaired, and to have the tools the mechanical forces employ to do the most efficient job possible to keep the assets moving and perhaps create additional capacity. One of the important aspects to equipment utilization/asset management is scheduling. The focus of this article is on examination of how scheduled operations wrest more work from existing fleets. Highly sophisticated computer modeling tools and computer based operating systems, combined with common sense approaches are helping railroads improve their equipment utilization, whether it is for boxcars or intermodal boxes. Systems like Norfolk Southern's (NS) Thoroughbred Operating Plan (TOP) and service products like Canadian National's (CN) Intermodal Excellence (IMX) have become industry standard. The article discusses NS and CN asset management systems as the best examples for building capacity through well planned equipment utilization. For NS, Top has provided enormous benefits, not the least of which is this railroad's ability to handle unprecedented traffic growth. For CN, a new "precision intermodal" product and service plan called IMX has boosted train capacity by more than 20%.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 45-60
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01005807
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 5 2005 8:21AM