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Scheduling freight trains in rail-rail transshipment yards


  • Nils Boysen

    () (Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Betriebswirtschaftslehre / Operations Management Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

  • Erwin Pesch

    () (Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik, Universität Siegen)


Transshipment yards, where gantry cranes allow for an effcient transshipment of containers between different freight trains, are important entities in modern railway systems and facilitate the general shift from point-to-point transport to hub-and-spoke railway systems. Modern rail-rail transshipment yards accelerate container handling, so that multiple smaller trains with equal destination can be consolidated to a reduced number of trains without jeopardizing on time deliveries. An important problem continuously arising during the daily operations of a transshipment yard is the train scheduling problem, which decides on the succession of trains at the parallel railway tracks. This problem with a special focus on resolving deadlocks and avoiding multiple crane picks per container move is investigated within the paper on hand. A mathematical program along with a complexity proof is provided and exact (Dynamic Programming) and heuristic (Beam Search) procedures are described.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Boysen & Erwin Pesch, 2008. "Scheduling freight trains in rail-rail transshipment yards," Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers (Expired!) 11/2008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:jen:jenjbe:2008-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Freling, R. & Lentink, R.M. & Kroon, L.G. & Huisman, D., 2002. "Shunting of Passenger Train Units in a Railway Station," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-74-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. Nils Boysen & Malte Fliedner & Armin Scholl, 2007. "Sequencing Mixed-Model Assembly Lines to Minimize Part Inventory Cost," Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers (Expired!) 03/2007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. Macharis, C. & Bontekoning, Y. M., 2004. "Opportunities for OR in intermodal freight transport research: A review," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 400-416, March.
    5. He, Shiwei & Song, Rui & Chaudhry, Sohail S., 2000. "Fuzzy dispatching model and genetic algorithms for railyards operations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 307-331, July.
    6. Sabuncuoglu, Ihsan & Gocgun, Yasin & Erel, Erdal, 2008. "Backtracking and exchange of information: Methods to enhance a beam search algorithm for assembly line scheduling," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 186(3), pages 915-930, May.
    7. Harald Rotter, 2004. "New operating concepts for intermodal transport: The mega hub in Hanover/Lehrte in Germany," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 347-365, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boysen, Nils & Fliedner, Malte, 2010. "Determining crane areas in intermodal transshipment yards: The yard partition problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 204(2), pages 336-342, July.

    More about this item


    Railway Systems; Transshipment Yard; Train Scheduling; Dynamic Programming; Beam Search;

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