Railway Blocking Process

  • Carl Van DykeEmail author
  • Marc Meketon
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 222)


Prior to the widespread adoption of unit trains and the rise of intermodal, most traffic moved in “loose car” or “manifest” service (also called “car load traffic”). In this type of service, sets of railcars are grouped together on a temporary basis into “blocks.”


Blocking System Business Logic Classification Cost Local Block Class Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahuja RK, Jha KC, Liu J (2007) Solving real-life railroad blocking problems. Interfaces 37:404–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnhart C, Jin HH, Vance P (2000) Railway blocking: a network design application. Oper Res 48(2):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodin LD, Golden BL, Schuster AD, Romig W (1980) A model for the blocking of trains. Transport Res 14B:115–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crainic TG, Ferland JA, Rousseau JM (1984) A tactical planning model for rail freight transportation. Transport Sci 18:165–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Glover F, Laguna M (1997) Tabu search. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gorman MF (1995) An application of genetic and Tabu searches to the freight railroad operation plan problem, INFORMS spring meetingGoogle Scholar
  7. Keaton MH (1989) Designing optimal railroad operating plans: Lagrangian relaxation and heuristic approaches. Transport Res 23B:363–374Google Scholar
  8. Keaton MH (1992) Designing railroad operating plans: a dual adjustment method for implementing Lagrangian relaxation. Transport Res 26A:263–279Google Scholar
  9. Kraft ER (1998) A reservations-based railway network operations management system, Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, UMI Order # 9829930Google Scholar
  10. Kwon OK, Martland CD, Sussman JM, Little PD (1995) Origin-to-destination trip times and reliability of rail freight services in North American railroads, Transportation Research Record, No. 1489, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  11. Little PD, Kwon OH, Martland CD (1992) An assessment of trip times and reliability of boxcar traffic, proceedings of the transportation research forum, 34th annual meeting, vol 1, Arlington, VAGoogle Scholar
  12. Newton HN (1996) Network design under budget constraints with application to the railroad blocking problem, Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, USAGoogle Scholar
  13. Newton HN, Barnhart C, Vance P (1998) Constructing railway blocking plans to minimize handling costs. Transport Sci 32(4):330–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Norfolk Southern Corporation. Next generation car routing system at Norfolk Southern.
  15. Railway Age (2014) Obituary for guerdon sterling sines, 1928–2014, railroad computer systems pioneer, railway age, 5 Sept 2014.
  16. Simon D (2013) Evolutionary optimization algorithms. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  17. Van Dyke CD (1986) The automated blocking model: a practical approach to freight railroad blocking plan development. Transport Res Forum 27:116–122Google Scholar
  18. Van Dyke CD (1988) Dynamic management of railroad blocking plans. Transport Res Forum 29:149–152Google Scholar
  19. Yaghini M, Seyedabadi M, Khoshraftar MM (2012) A population-based algorithm for the railroad blocking problem. J Ind Eng Int, SpringerOpen, 8:8 doi: 10.1186/2251-712X-8-8

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TransNetOptPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Oliver WymanPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations