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A Framework for Modeling Rail Transport Vulnerability

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  • STEVEN K. PETERSON
  • RICHARD L. CHURCH

Abstract

Railroads represent one of the most efficient methods of long-haul transport for bulk commodities, from coal to agricultural products. Over the past 50 years, the rail network has contracted while tonnage has increased. Service, geographically, has been abandoned along short-haul routes and increased along major long-haul routes, resulting in a network that is more streamlined. The current rail network may be very vulnerable to disruptions, like the failure of a trestle. This paper proposes a framework to model rail network vulnerability and gives an application of this modeling framework in analyzing rail network vulnerability for the State of Washington. It concludes with a number of policy-related issues that need to be addressed in order to identify, plan, and mitigate the risks associated with the sudden loss of a bridge or trestle. Copyright (c) 2008 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Steven K. Peterson & Richard L. Church, 2008. "A Framework for Modeling Rail Transport Vulnerability," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 617-641.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:617-641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ballis, Athanasios & Golias, John, 2002. "Comparative evaluation of existing and innovative rail-road freight transport terminals," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 593-611, August.
    2. Stuart E. Dreyfus, 1969. "An Appraisal of Some Shortest-Path Algorithms," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 17(3), pages 395-412, June.
    3. Lyons, Bruce R, 1996. "Empirical Relevance of Efficient Contract Theory: Inter-firm Contracts," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 27-52, Winter.
    4. Cynthia Barnhart & Hong Jin & Pamela H. Vance, 2000. "Railroad Blocking: A Network Design Application," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 48(4), pages 603-614, August.
    5. Assad, Arjang A., 1980. "Modelling of rail networks: Toward a routing/makeup model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 101-114.
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    Cited by:

    1. Starita, Stefano & Scaparra, Maria Paola, 2016. "Optimizing dynamic investment decisions for railway systems protection," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 543-557.
    2. Gedik, Ridvan & Medal, Hugh & Rainwater, Chase & Pohl, Ed A. & Mason, Scott J., 2014. "Vulnerability assessment and re-routing of freight trains under disruptions: A coal supply chain network application," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 45-57.

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