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Intermodal Freight Network – User Interface Development


This project was completed in February 2013. Relevant links for the completed research are below:

In previous research projects, Vanderbilt University created a first-generation intermodal freight transportation network using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and researched means of performing terminal capacity estimation. These efforts resulted in a fully-routeable, nationwide network consisting of visually-verified intermodal freight terminals, transfer facilities complete with digitized boundaries and modal connections. Impedances (such as railroad crossings for truck transportation), delay estimates (e.g., mode to mode transfer penalties and terminal dwell times) and risk-related information (e.g., population density along each network link) are among the attributes of this network.

Routing solutions may be computed that minimize these attributes, though the routing must be performed using standard TransCAD menus and an end user must be very proficient with the software to generate meaningful results.

The purpose of this technology transfer project is to create a custom web-based interface that an end user can use to easily route intermodal shipments through the network, adjust transfer delays at terminals, and export results to a geographic file format for visualization and use in analyses, presentations and reports. The intended audience is state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

This project is being funded by the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute at the University of Memphis. Dr. James Dobbins is the principal investigator.