A simulation tool for combined rail/road transport in intermodal terminals

Rizzoli, Andrea Emilio and Fornara, Nicoletta and Gambardella, Luca Maria (2002) A simulation tool for combined rail/road transport in intermodal terminals. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 59 (1--3). pp. 57-71.

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A simulation model of the flow of intermodal terminal units (ITUs) among and within inland intermodal terminals is presented. The intermodal terminals are interconnected by rail corridors. Each terminal serves a user catchment area via a road network. The terminal is modelled as a set of platforms, which are served by a number of gantry cranes and front lifters. The user of the simulation model defines the structure of the terminal and the train and truck arrival scenarios. The train arrivals are defined in a train timetable, while the patterns of truck arrivals for ITU delivery and pick-up can be either statistically modelled or given as a deterministic input. The simulator can be used to simulate both a single terminal and a rail network, that is, two or more interconnected terminals. During the simulation, various statistics are gathered to assess the performance of the terminal equipment, the ITU residence time, and the terminal throughput. The simulation software has been implemented as a discrete-event simulation model, using MODSIM III as development tool. The simulator tool has been developed as part of the Platform project, funded by the Directorate General VII of the European Community.

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