Title: Railway freight operator service and planning profile

Authors: Juha Saranen

Addresses: Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, Lappeenranta 53850, Finland

Abstract: Transportation contributes to a share of national income. Furthermore, improvements in transportation efficiency create room for accelerated economic growth. One target of the transport policy of the European Union (EU) is to promote railways as a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Stimulus for improving the efficiency of railways has been introduced recently, as the EU legislation has opened railway freight for competition from the beginning of year 2007 in all member states. The objective of this study is to explore the service profile and planning techniques used currently by railway operators. This is done by conducting an international survey. Although the number of responses was limited, the research provides new exploratory knowledge in current practices. Based on the results, operators typically rely on spreadsheet-based solutions for operations planning, while only larger operators use more sophisticated methods. In order to further improve the efficiency of railway freight services, we suggest that the cost of using simulation should be reduced.

Keywords: railways; freight operators; simulation; transportation modes; deregulation; transport policy; service profile; railway planning; operations planning; railway freight services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCI.2010.032221

International Journal of Services Sciences, 2010 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.158 - 178

Published online: 17 Mar 2010 *

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