Modeling a Coal Car Cooperative Transportation Network: Phase 2
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Modeling a Coal Car Cooperative Transportation Network: Phase 2 Project # UA10-AECC. Project Team Principal InvestigatorSarah Root, Ph.D. Co-Principal InvestigatorChase Rainwater, Ph.D. Graduate AssistantHector Vergara. Project Motivation

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Modeling a Coal Car Cooperative Transportation Network: Phase 2 Project # UA10-AECC

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Modeling a coal car cooperative transportation network phase 2 project ua10 aecc

Modeling a Coal Car Cooperative Transportation Network: Phase 2

Project # UA10-AECC

Project Team

Principal InvestigatorSarah Root, Ph.D.

Co-Principal InvestigatorChase Rainwater, Ph.D.

Graduate AssistantHector Vergara

Project Motivation

  • Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC)

    • 3 coal-fired power stations consume approx. 14.5M tons of low-sulfur Powder River Basin (PRB) coal per year

  • Coal transportation network

    • Unit trains shipped from PRB, WY

    • Transportation represents 2/3 of coal cost

  • Problems in current coal transportation network

    • Unit train lengths limited by capacity of eastern railroads and physical limitations at power plants

    • Operational disruptions reduce coal throughput

Result from Phase 1

  • CCC Decision Support Tool

    • Volume feasibility and cost feasibility

      • Different participants

      • Role of participants

      • Class I Railroad participation

Project Objectives

  • Refine decision support tool to evaluate the potential cost savings of the CCC

  • Propose implementation plan for the installation of a CCC in stages

    • (e.g. initial installation and further expansions based on participants needs)

  • A tactical plan for the formation and scheduling of CCC trains to be shipped to participant plants

Project Activities

  • Data collection and analysis

  • Simulation model of train flow and car build-up

  • Scenario construction

  • Statistical analysis of simulation results

  • Mathematical modeling of operational problems

  • Sensitivity analysis

  • Documentation

Research Methodology

Model of Coal Car Build-up

  • Simulation modeling

  • Primary performance measures

    • Coal inventory at CCC

    • Cycle time

  • Scenarios for evaluation

    • Class I Railroad participation

    • Coal volume

  • Related analyses

    • Implementation plan for CCC

    • Infrastructure and operational costs

CCC Operation Modeling

  • Mathematical model(s) of CCC operations

    • Locomotive and car scheduling

    • Empty balancing

  • Sensitivity with respect to

    • Coal volume (i.e. formation of outgoing trains)

    • Resource capacity


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