Techniques to improve freight-car fleet use are of considerable interest to the railroad industry. One potentially high improvement area is the disposition of empty cars within the network. This paper reports the first results of inventory control applied to one aspect of the process, namely the sizing of empty-car inventories at points in the network. First we evaluate existing techniques for distributing empty cars on a rail network. These techniques deal primarily with optimizing empty-car movements from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. To account for variations in supply and demand, we designed a discrete event simulation model that can determine optimum inventory level, for a single terminal area, as a function of (a) daily supply variations, (b) daily demand variations, and (c) cost of holding a car in a terminal awaiting loading compared to cost of having no car available to satisfy shipper demand. A first attempt to use the model to evaluate the performance of an actual railroad terminal area indicates that excessive inventories are maintained in surplus terminal areas. The applicability of the model to a real railroad operating situation is also demonstrated.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 52-60
  • Monograph Title: Rail planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184689
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026857
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM