A Study of Car-to-Train Assignment Problem for Rail Express Cargos on Scheduled and Unscheduled Train Service Network

Boliang Lin

Freight train services in a railway network system are generally divided into two categories: one is the unscheduled train, whose operating frequency fluctuates with origin-destination (OD) demands; the other is the scheduled train, which is running based on regular timetable just like the passenger trains. The timetable will be released to the public if determined and it would not be influenced by OD demands. Typically, the total capacity of scheduled trains can usually satisfy the predicted demands of express cargos in average. However, the demands are changing in practice. Therefore, how to distribute the shipments between different stations to unscheduled and scheduled train services has become an important research field in railway transportation. This paper focuses on the coordinated optimization of the rail express cargos distribution in two service networks. On the premise of fully utilizing the capacity of scheduled service network first, we established a Car-to-Train (CTT) assignment model to assign rail express cargos to scheduled and unscheduled trains scientifically. The objective function is to maximize the net income of transporting the rail express cargos. The constraints include the capacity restriction on the service arcs, flow balance constraints, logical relationship constraint between two groups of decision variables and the due date constraint. The last constraint is to ensure that the total transportation time of a shipment would not be longer than its predefined due date. Finally, we discuss the linearization techniques to simplify the model proposed in this paper, which make it possible for obtaining global optimal solution by using the commercial software.

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