Simulation of Railroad Operations Railway Systems and Management Association HC

Simulation of Railroad Operations Railway Systems and Management Association HC

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Simulation of Railroad Operations Railway Systems and Management Association HC
 
Simulation of Railroad Operations Railway Systems and Management Association Hard Cover 1966 203 Pages
Railroading may be characterized as an industry which must "DO MORE FOR LESS."
To meet this challenge of the market place, railroads have had to bring innovation and creative thinking to bear on such problems as operating costs, the value of new equipment, organization, marketing, and even Governmental regulations. But innovation and creative thinking demand experimentation. Visionary concepts, hypothetical or new equipment must be evaluated, measured, and the impact of the changes understood.
"Seat of the pants" judgment is one way that has been used to evaluate the impact of change.
Analysis of historical operations is a more common method. Graphs or mathematical equations are used to express relationships and extrapolate future occurrence.
Each of these methods and the many variations of them are limited both by the number of variables that may be considered and also the number of alternatives evaluated. "Measurement" is mainly of a gross nature, total ton miles per day; estimated total motive power required; information required to make precise decisions is not available . In today's environment of increased competition, increased demands of the users of railroads for faster, more reliable service-and most important, the increased profit squeeze-new techniques-methods by which to measure the impact of change; of new thoughts, new procedures-are required. Computer simulation is such a new technique.
SIMULATION IS DEFINED AS ENACTING THE
ACTIONS OF A SYSTEM OVER TIME BASED
ON A SET OF INITIAL CONDITIONS
What does this mean in railroading terms? We can enact the functions of a hump yard-the receiving, inspection - classification - assembly - departure -of trains and their consist. The logical actions of the yardmaster in assigning cars to the classification tracks can be translated into computer logic. The set of initial conditions are the length of the class tracks, the number of switch engines, the time required to inspect a cut, as examples, and these may also be altered.
The basic outputs from a computer simulation model are time histories-a chonological picture of car or train movement-of the utilization of tracks-of switch engines-of men.
Figure 1 shows the generic form of computer simulation models. As indicated, punched cards describing the characteristics of the item to be processed; cars to be classified; trains moving on a mainline section; locomotive units to be serviced; are fed into the computer. Other punched cards indicating physical geometry of areas such as length of tracks, location of switches, operating procedures, number of engine units, etc. are also fed into the computer. The computer receives these imputs and processes the


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