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My Open University Freight Car Routing Project is finished

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SBX
  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Ipswich, UK
  • 88 posts
My Open University Freight Car Routing Project is finished
Posted by SBX on Saturday, September 09, 2017 12:09 PM

Please accept my apologies for posting this as a copy of a post on MRH but I have to say the same things to everyone.

I have now submitted my final project report for my TM470 Router Open University project. 11,000 words in the report body and 22,000 overall including the JavaScript code and my project blog.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed. I know that I didn't make it easy to understand what it was all about. I should have made it clear that the course result was to be a project report and not a working piece of software. I also didn't make it clear that there were severe time constraints so I would only be able to implement the first level complexity. Lastly, I should have mentioned that, without any external "stakeholders', if it pleases me then it if OK as I am goingto be the only user.

As it happens, I now have a chance of a good grade for my final module and thus get a good B.Sc(Hons). It has only taken me since 1974 to get here!

Also, I have a solid Android app that can feed me through a 20 train cycle (as a day) and allocate freight and passenger cars for coached passenger trains, way freights, through freights - oh and Bdd RDCs. Sitting at the back is a fast, secure set of servers which deliver the information. I am very pleased with the outcome.

I think that I have shown these before but I display the train information in the form of a switch list or a train order. I know that train orders are inappropriate but, as one contributor said - "Oh, you are doing eye candy!"

Here is the Android output for some examples:

This is for the New Haven Budd.

This is for a "coached" B&M passenger train.

This is a switch list for an SNE way freight from Sunset to Hartford (Staging).

One problem has arisen. I did a test where I ran three days schedules (60 trains). I found that the 23 freight cars that I have are not enough. Slowly they got put into industries for a couple of days for loading/unloading and, by the end of the cycle, some freights were running without cars. It would seem that I need about 50% more cars to keep the trains flowing nicely. Now, I have to negotiate with the financial controller (SWMBO) for additional investment - tricky.

David

Main Man - Sunset & North Eastern RR

from the UK

Long Haired David
A.K.A. David Pennington
main man on the Sunset and North Eastern R.R.
from the UK

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: Ledyard, CT
  • 1,711 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, September 10, 2017 7:20 AM

SBX
One problem has arisen. I did a test where I ran three days schedules (60 trains). I found that the 23 freight cars that I have are not enough. Slowly they got put into industries for a couple of days for loading/unloading and, by the end of the cycle, some freights were running without cars. It would seem that I need about 50% more cars to keep the trains flowing nicely. Now, I have to negotiate with the financial controller (SWMBO) for additional investment - tricky.

Yep, it is tricky.  

Do you have yard track space for 50% more cars?  

You might consider adjusting the loading times (compressing a bit) or reducing the frequency of service for the different industries until you can acquire the additional equipment.

Also running a freight train with just a caboose is a thing that happened.  Ive found photos of B&M's Central Massachusetts branch in its last days.  1 customer or so remaining.  A single GP7 or 9 would go out with a box car or just a caboose to pick up the only load ready at the industry maybe once or twice a week.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
SBX
  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Ipswich, UK
  • 88 posts
Posted by SBX on Sunday, September 10, 2017 7:29 AM

It is mostly the staging that is getting sparse. I am already planning changing the one track stagings (take the cars off every time!) and replace them with two tracks. Next step will be to tinker with the settings. I did try that first but the staging was the main issue. I have to raise the funds first though:-(

I don't mind if the way frieghts are light of cars but I don't like to see through freights running with just a caboose.

david

Long Haired David
A.K.A. David Pennington
main man on the Sunset and North Eastern R.R.
from the UK

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: Ledyard, CT
  • 1,711 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, September 10, 2017 7:44 AM

SBX
I don't mind if the way frieghts are light of cars but I don't like to see through freights running with just a caboose.

Yep thats understandable.  Would not make sense for a road freight to not have any cars.   

Would their be a way to modify the program so that a road freight is not dispatched until their are x number of cars available for it?

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
SBX
  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Ipswich, UK
  • 88 posts
Posted by SBX on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:45 AM

That's an interesting thought. It would be quite easy (to use an term we used to use in my banking days) to put the train into "suspense" and check at each train creation point whether the in-suspense train could run instead. I would have to make sure that a loco and caboose were kept on hand though.

Surely, though, it is better (???) to persuade the railroad treasurer (my wife) that I deperately need 12 more freight cars - grn.

Long Haired David
A.K.A. David Pennington
main man on the Sunset and North Eastern R.R.
from the UK

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: Ledyard, CT
  • 1,711 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, September 16, 2017 7:05 PM

SBX
Surely, though, it is better (???) to persuade the railroad treasurer (my wife) that I deperately need 12 more freight cars - grn.

Also yes.  I would go for both.  That way you could swap out the cars on the layout, so the same ones are not always going to the same industries...

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.

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