Impact of train makeup on hazmat risk in a transport corridor

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Vedat Verter

AuthorsCheng, J., Verma, M., Verter, V.

Publication: Journal of Transportation Safety and Security

Abstract: 

The quantity of hazmat traffic on railroad networks is expected to increase significantly over the next decade, in part because of the phenomenal growth of rail–truck intermodal transportation and the increasing use of railroads to move crude oil. Fortunately, railroad researchers have developed a variety of tools to manage and mitigate risk from rail hazmat shipments, including more comprehensive risk-assessment techniques and efficient routing plans. Although train makeup (i.e., placement of railcars) could be one of the other ways to mitigate hazmat risk, this area has not received enough attention. Thus, in a first attempt to understand the trade-off between rail-segment and rail-yard risk, the authors propose a novel risk-assessment methodology and a mathematical model to determine the train makeup and the position of hazmat railcars in a predefined transport corridor. A case study, with four distinct settings, based in the United States is built and analyzed to gain managerial insights, and also to steer the investigation of the network-level problem.

Read full article: Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, July 15, 2016