October 29, 2015 12:00PM (ET)

Integrated Modeling of High Performance Passenger and Freight Train Operation Planning on Shared Use Rail Corridors: A Focus on the U.S. Context

Passenger rail has been resurging in the United States over the past decade. Amtrak, the primary intercity rail carrier, has experienced near continuous ridership growth from 20.9 million to 31.6 million passengers, or a more than 50% increase, between 2000 and 2013.

To help sustain and grow passenger rail service nationwide, several states have proposed higher performance rail systems in the forms of High Speed Rail (HSR) services on new or existing corridors.  The key benefits are contributions to sustainable rail travel and increased options for multimodality.  There’s an issue, however, to address: Higher speed trains often share tracks with freight trains, and the tracks are, in most cases, owned and maintained by freight railroads. The mixed operations can lead to capacity constraints, causing delays for Amtrak passengers and interruptions to the freight trains that operate on these shared use corridors.

In this webcast, participants will learn about research that led to development of a hypergraph based, two-level model that may help minimize the impact of delays resulting from shared passenger and freight rail corridors.  The corridor studied is the near 300-mile route between Chicago and St. Louis, which is being upgraded to accommodate 110-mile-per-hour passenger service. The objectives behind this research was  to better understand shared corridor rail challenges, identify some potential solutions and provide policymakers with a new resource. Download Handout | View Report

Presenter: Bo Zou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Civil and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bo Zou, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and he’s an affiliated faculty member of the Urban Transportation Center and Center for Supply Chain Management and Logistics.

He is also a faculty partner of the National University Rail (NURail) Center and the University of Illinois Center of Excellence for Airport Technology. Bo received his Ph.D. in transportation engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, with minors in economics and industrial engineering and operations research. He earned a M.S. in transportation planning and management from Tsinghua University, a Diplôme d’Ingénieur in general engineering from Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and a B.E. in civil engineering from Tsinghua University. He’s also the director for the Transportation and Logistics Research Lab (Translog Lab) at UIC.

Dr. Zou’s research interests include: Transportation Systems Analysis, Transportation Economics, Planning and Policy, Sustainable Transportation, Infrastructure Asset Management, Air Transportation, Port Management and Waterborne Shipping.



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