Optimizing Train Load Planning: Review and Decision Support for Train Planners

  • Hilde HeggenEmail author
  • Kris Braekers
  • An Caris
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9855)


Train load planners are confronted with complex practical considerations during the booking and planning process. In order to optimally utilize the available loading space, train capacity is monitored in terms of available length and weight while accounting for the urgency with which load units must be sent. Furthermore, the execution of the load plan by the terminal operator must be performed efficiently to minimize total handling costs. The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, current literature on train load planning is reviewed based on three main groups of factors influencing the load plan composition. Second, a static model is developed to introduce a number of practical constraints from the viewpoint of the network operator. Finally, the model is adapted to reflect the planning environment of a real-life case study.


Train load planning Intermodal transportation Container terminals Rail transportation 



This work is supported by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office (research project COMEX, Combinatorial Optimization: Metaheuristics & Exact Methods).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)BrusselsBelgium

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