Seattle Meeting

Seattle picture The Fall 1998 INFORMS National Meeting was held in Seattle, October 25-28, 1998. For more information, contact Bruce Patty, the cluster chair, at 415-491-1770, fax 415-491-1251, or by e-mail at

NOTE: This is the first day of Standard Time

Sunday 13:00-17:00: RASIG Roundtable

Sheraton Hotel, East Ballroom A, Coordinator - Ajith Wijeratne

13:00 Network Modeling Needs in the Current Business Environment
Guest Speaker: R. Mark Schmidt, Assistant Vice President Strategic Studies, Burlington Northern Santa Fe


13:45 Summary of Past Simulation Experience in the Rail Industry
- Marc Meketon, MultiModal Applied Systems

14:15 Overview of Objectives, Architecture, and Technology of the BNSF Network Simulation
- Todd McClain, BNSF

14:30 Simulation Model Development at Union Pacific
- Myron Lewellen, Union Pacific

14:45 Break

15:00 Comparison on Discrete Event Vs Discrete Time Approaches to Network Simulation
- Warren Powell, Princeton University

15:15 Overview of Requirements
- Ajith Wijeratne

15:30 Group Discussion

16:45 Panel Discussion Summary
- Ajith Wijeratne

Sunday 17:15-18:00:  RASIG Membership Meeting

Sheraton Hotel, East Ballroom A, Everyone is Welcome
  1. Greetings and Introductions
  2. Minutes of the prior meeting
  3. Treasurer's report
  4. Seattle conference - last minute adjustments and announcements
  5. Cincinnati conference
    1. Theme for roundtable and paper sessions
    2. Chairs for roundtable and paper sessions
    3. Possible tours of rail facilities in Cincinnati
  6. Future conferences
    1. Organizational issues (number of meetings/year, lead time, etc.)
    2. Volunteers for
  7. Nominating committee for 1999 officers
  8. Newsletter
  9. Student paper contest
  10. RASIG Logo

Monday 08:00-09:30:  Simulation Modeling of Multiple Railroad Assets

Chair: Todd McClain, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway,, Room 203.

Modeling the Interaction Between Railroad Freight Schedule Adherence & Asset Utilization

Yan Dong; Transport Dynamics, Joseph M. Sussman; MIT, Carl D. Martland; MIT,

In recent years, railroads have debated the extent to which schedule adherence affects asset utilization. A simulation model was used to examine network performance under three operating strategies: schedule adherence, flexible short-run scheduling, flexible operations. No strategy was best in terms of all the major     measures of cost, capacity, and service. Schedule adherence provides better service, but requires more assets than flexible operating strategy. For best results, the different operating strategies need to be applied to different market segments.

MultiRail's Asset Management Capabilities

Marc S. Meketon; MultiModal Applied Systems, Inc.,

MultiRail is an advanced railway operations planning and control system used by service designers. Add-on's to MultiRail are being developed to provide visibility into the downstream operations of the railway. This allows the service designers to understand the impact of the operating plan on the crew and capital assets. We discuss how MultiRail incorporates locomotive, crew, and track asset management in its planning tools.

Network Simulation of Railroad Assets

Todd McClain; Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway,

Railroads have traditionally addressed network-wide policy questions by analyzing each major asset individually. A high level simulation model of the railroad including all of the major assets reveals the interaction between the assets. The model allows better strategic planning and quantification of network decision policies.

Monday 13:00-14:30: Capacity Planning in the Railroad Industry

Chaiir:  Carl D. Martland, MIT,, Room 203.

Locomotive Resource Planning Using a Non-Linear Programming Approach for Network Simulation

John Trever; A&L Associates, Inc., , Andreas Aeppli; A&L Associates, Inc., Carl D. Martland; MIT,, Jason Kuehn; Multimodal Applied Systems, Inc. John R. Fallis; Canadian Pacific Railway

Working for a major Canadian railroad, we developed an approach for determining the number of  locomotives that would be required under different operating schedules in a planned operating environment. The model generates key network results like locomotive utilization by class of power, light moves, and expected train delay. Various parameters in the model can be adjusted to reflect actual operational practices of locomotive management, e.g., rates of required servicing at terminals, and minimum allowable inventory levels at terminals.

Coal Movement by Railroads

Gilles Reinhardt; Northwestern University,

This is the largest activity conducted by US railroads. We model the Orin Line, an area producing one third of domestic coal. We tackle current congestion problems on two levels: analytically for issues of capacity, pricing, and cost allocation; and with discrete simulation for dispatching and variability management.

Locomotive Assignment Using a Branch-First, Cut-Second Approach

Koorush Ziarati, Francois Soumis, Jacques Desrosiers, GERAD, Ecole Polytech., Marius M. Solomon; Northeastern University

We propose a B&C approach for assigning locomotives to trains. The branching decisions define facets of a restricted constraint set polyhedron. The approach improved the best known solution for an almost 2000-leg weekly problem faced by Canadian National, generating potential savings of more than $30,000,000 per year.

Monday 14:45-16:15: Railroad Capacity Issues

Chair: Bill Vanmarter, Canadian Pacific Railway,, Room 203.

Modeling Slotted Operation on Single Track

Bill Richardson; Canadian Pacific Railway,

Models of the relationship between transit time, slot frequency, and inter-siding spacing will be explored. In certain situations the slot frequency can 'resonate' with the track layout to give smaller train delay.

Estimating the Capacity of Railroad Terminal Complexes

Carl D. Martland; MIT,

Most models of rail capacity deal with line capacity; a few deal with yard capacity; almost none deal with complex terminals. We will describe TERMCAP, a spreadsheet model that is designed to estimate the capacity of a terminal area where a half dozen mainlines converge upon a number of classification yards, intermodal yards, and industrial support facilities.

The Mainline/Yard Interface

Bill Vanmarter; Canadian Pacific Railway,

Railroad mainline capacity is necessarily analyzed at train level. Yard capacity is usually analyzed separately in terms of blocks and cars. Identifying root causes of bottlenecks from a network perspective requires a common ground between mainline and yards. We present a simulation approach to this problem.


Other Session of Interest to Railroads

Sunday 13:00-14:30:  SC14.1 Routing of Railway Carriages

Tuesday 13:00-14:30: TC17.3 Optimizing Intermodal Rail Operations

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