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Designing optimal railroad operating plans: Lagrangian relaxation and heuristic approaches


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  • Keaton, Mark H.
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    Railroad managers must determine (1) which pairs of terminals are to be provided with direct train connections, (2) the frequency of service, (3) how the individual cars are routed through the available configuration of trains and intermediate terminals, and (4) how cars are physically grouped or "blocked" within trains. The objective is to minimize the sum of train costs, car time costs, and classification yard costs, while not exceeding limits on train size and yard volumes. These decisions are modeled as a mixed-integer programming problem, where the decision to operate a given train connection corresponds to 0-1 variable. With no limits on train size, the model can be solved very efficiently using Lagrangian relaxation. If the solution contains some overloaded trains, which is likely, heuristic adjustments are necessary to obtain a feasible operating plan.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

    Volume (Year): 23 (1989)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 415-431

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:23:y:1989:i:6:p:415-431

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    Cited by:
    1. Jin, Jian Gang & Zhao, Jun & Lee, Der-Horng, 2013. "A column generation based approach for the Train Network Design Optimization problem," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Lin, Bo-Liang & Wang, Zhi-Mei & Ji, Li-Jun & Tian, Ya-Ming & Zhou, Guo-Qing, 2012. "Optimizing the freight train connection service network of a large-scale rail system," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 649-667.
    3. Marin, Angel & Salmeron, Javier, 1996. "Tactical design of rail freight networks. Part I: Exact and heuristic methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 26-44, April.
    4. Nozick, Linda K. & Morlok, Edward K., 1997. "A model for medium-term operations planning in an intermodal rail-truck service," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 91-107, March.
    5. Crainic, Teodor Gabriel & Laporte, Gilbert, 1997. "Planning models for freight transportation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 409-438, March.
    6. KePing Li & ZiYou Gao & BaoHua Mao & ChengXuan Cao, 2011. "Optimizing Train Network Routing Using Deterministic Search," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 193-205, June.


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