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Intermodal transportation (IMT) combines two or more different modes of transportation without changing the packaging of the freight transported in order to minimize the transportation cost and to utilize the benefits of modes that are used. One of the most common intermodal freight transportation systems is the Rolling Highway (Ro-La), where a special train system is used to carry highway vehicles on railway cars. This paper reviews IMT and proposes a system in which the facility layout problems are solved simultaneously with the scheduling problems arising in Ro-La transportation. In this context, the best station layouts are obtained by applying a layout improvement algorithm to several initial layouts with respect to different scoring functions. One of the important questions to answer in the IMT problem pertains to the number of loading and unloading platforms. Using the output of the layout improvement algorithm, the train scheduling model is solved to find the minimum number of platforms in a station, the number of trains, and the departures with the carried trucks and trailers, while scheduling train operations, with the objective of minimizing operation costs. The proposed IMT system is applied to the Marmaray Undersea Railway Tunnel Project with regard to different Ro-La systems, and its effectiveness is discussed.
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2010