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Rail Freight Commodity Models: A First Generation Effort in Iowa. Presented at the: Second Symposium Innovations in Freight Demand Modeling & Data Improvement SHRP2 Strategic Highway Research Program Washington, D.C. USA October 21-22, 2013 Iowa DOT with Parsons Brinckerhoff. Outline.

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rail freight commodity models a first generation effort in iowa

Rail Freight Commodity Models: A First Generation Effort in Iowa

Presented at the:

Second Symposium

Innovations in Freight Demand Modeling & Data Improvement

SHRP2 Strategic Highway Research Program

Washington, D.C. USA

October 21-22, 2013

Iowa DOT with Parsons Brinckerhoff

  • Evolution of Iowa DOT Activities
      • Statewide Traffic Model
      • Interest in Truck & Rail Commodity Models
  • Rail Commodity Architecture
  • Confidential Rail Waybill in Iowa
  • FAF3 to County Processing of Commodity Flows
  • Rail Freight Modeling
  • Applicability to States, MPOs and Decision Makers
history of statewide modeling in iowa
History of Statewide Modeling in Iowa
  • First Generation Traffic Model
    • Developed 2005-2007
    • Focused on Auto and Truck Traffic
    • Applied for Planning, Engineering & Safety Studies
    • Resource for MPO and RPA (Regional Planning Affiliation) Modeling (the DOT serves nine MPOs)
    • Known as iTRAM
  • Second Generation Statewide Model
    • In progress 2012-2014
    • Provides an update to the 2007 traffic model
    • Begins an emphasis on freight and commodity movements
interest in commodity flow issues
Interest in Commodity Flow Issues
  • Need for Commodity Flow Models
    • Estimate Freight Rail Capacity Needs
    • Serve Passenger Rail Models
    • Use in Business Decision Making
      • New Warehouse, Distribution Center Location
      • Short Line Railroad Planning
      • Rail Ownership Changes
  • Study Partners
    • Iowa DOT: Offices of Systems Planning and Rail
    • Federal Railroad Administration
sequencing of activities in itram update
Sequencing of Activities in iTRAM Update
  • Prepare Comprehensive Model Architecture
    • Traffic Model Update
    • Truck Model Update
    • Rail Commodity Models
    • Interface between the “Moving Parts”
  • Focus of this Presentation is Rail Commodity
    • Data Inventory & Processing
    • Model Development Issues
freight flows by mode
Freight Flows by Mode

* - unit of measure is thousand tons

** - does not include through trips

Source: FHWA FAF3.4, Iowa, Table KT_BYMODE, Year 2011

architecture highlights rail
Architecture Highlights (Rail)
  • Rail Models produce both Rail and Truck Demand
  • Network Rail Assignment Deliverables Include:
    • Freight Rail Assignment
    • Truck Trip Tables (to and from rail heads)
  • Approach must be Iowa-centric
    • Investigate observed rail commodity flows
    • Address agriculture goods movements, including a variety of exports and import of fertilizer and other.
    • Develop future flows of rail commodities
stb confidential rail waybill
STB Confidential Rail Waybill
  • Review of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Carload Waybill Sample
    • Complete file (900 character) compared to the public use version (247 character)
    • Restricted distribution but used by many states for state transportation plans
  • Tabulations by origin-destination and Surface Transportation Commodity Code (STCC)
    • From/To Iowa
    • Through Movements
  • Rail Network Assignment of Waybill Data
    • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) rail network
    • County to county flows
quick summary of waybill
Quick Summary of Waybill
  • Coverage: All U.S. railroads that terminate more than 4,500 revenue carloads must participate
  • Sample size based on number of carloads on waybill.
  • In Iowa BNSF (48%) and UP (40%) dominate
  • Contents of Waybill
    • Paperwork (waybill) for moving the shipment
      • Commodity type and weight (Surface Transportation Commodity Code)
      • Number and type of freight cars for shipment
      • Type of move
    • Routing information
      • Origin and termination freight stations
      • Railroads used and interchange locations between railroads
    • Origin-Destination
      • Standard Point Location Code (SPLC)
      • State and county (FIPS)
      • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) areas
    • Revenue
    • Expansion factor
mapping the waybill sample
Mapping the Waybill Sample
  • Develop national coordinate system
    • GIS projection
    • Miles/degree latitude-longitude at Des Moines
  • Create assignment network from ORNL rail network
    • ESRI shapefile to assignable network
    • Replace lat-long with national coordinates
    • Impedance based on ORNL main line class variable
  • Move waybill into workable database format
    • Origin/termination county, Canadian province or Mexican state
    • County centroid coordinates
  • Locate nearest rail nodes to county centroids for selected waybill records
  • Assign selected waybill records onto network
next steps
Next Steps
  • Detailed rail network inside Iowa
    • Locate points where commodities are loaded onto network (originating and trans-shipment)
    • Add link and node details (ownership, track rights, tracks, travel times, signaling, interline junctions)
    • Validate against waybill routings
  • Clean up national network and national zone system
    • Eliminate extraneous links
    • Compatible to detailed Iowa link and node variables
  • Disaggregate to Iowa TAZs
    • Iowa employment
    • 2007 Economic Census
  • Future flows
faf3 disaggregation to counties
FAF3 Disaggregation to Counties
  • Match counties to FAF3 regions
    • 3143 counties including Hawaii and Alaska
    • Renumbered counties and FAF3 regions
  • Relate types of employment to the origins and destinations of SCTG category commodity flows
  • Develop county as share of FAF3 region allocation factors
  • Balance FAF3 regional flows to counties
base county employment data
Base County Employment Data
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis
    • Largely developed from state unemployment insurance reporting (form ES-202)
    • Employment not covered by unemployment insurance added by BEA
    • Reported by two digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at county level
  • County Business Patterns
    • Derived from census business establishment surveys and federal administration records
    • Subject to data suppression when individual firms can be identified
    • Reported by six digit NAICS but data suppression increases with added detail
three sets of commodity flow tables
Three Sets of Commodity Flow Tables
  • Annual county to county domestic flows by mode and commodity
    • Need modes other than rail for mode choice analyses
    • Four modes – truck, rail, water, and multimodal – and forty-three commodities
    • 165 commodity flow tables produced of 172 possible
  • Annual foreign region to county import flows by mode and commodity
  • Annual county to foreign region export flows by mode and commodity

3143 counties

3143 counties

8 Regions

3143 counties

model components base year and future commodity flow tables
Model Components: Base Year and Future Commodity Flow Tables
  • Annual base year rail commodity flow tables built from Iowa Carload Waybill Sample
    • Two digit STCC commodity code (max of 38 commodities)
    • Compare against FAF3
    • BEA economic areas, counties, points of entry, major generators within Iowa with rail access
    • Four sets of tables defined by movement
  • Base and future year commodity flow tables (all modes) built from FAF3
    • Base: reallocated from FAF3 zones to BEA areas/counties, etc.
    • Future: IPF base tables using FAF3 growth estimates
model components commodity mode shares
Model Components: Commodity Mode Shares
  • Estimation data set by commodity
    • Observed flows
      • Carload Waybill Sample
      • FAF3 commodity flow tables
    • Cost to ship commodity by mode per ton per mile
    • Network skimmed and scaled distances
  • Application within state
    • New commodity source or consumption location
    • Added or removed intermodal facility
screen line locations
Screen Line Locations

Screen Line 2

Screen Line 1

Screen Line 3

major tasks remaining
Major Tasks Remaining
  • Repeat FAF3 disaggregation for 2040
  • Finalize commodity tables
  • Rail network for assignment
    • Clean up ORNL network outside Iowa
    • Add waterways as pseudo rail mode
    • Incorporate detailed Iowa rail network
    • Rail access points inside detailed zones
  • Mode choice model development and implementation
    • Highway versus rail/highway versus rail
    • Rail versus water
  • Assignment procedure and export of truck portion of truck-rail flows
  • Package final product in selected software
uses of the iowa rail commodity model
Uses of the Iowa Rail Commodity Model
  • Summary statistics: Rail ton-miles by commodity within Iowa, base and future.
  • What if Analysis:
    • Test placement of a new truck-rail intermodal or mega-warehouse/distribution center.
    • Test the viability of a new short line railroad.
  • Rail ownership changes.
  • May not be readily transferable to smaller scale geographies such as MPOs or corridors.
    • Scale of MPO may preclude accuracy since the disaggregation process from county to TAZ depends on local employment or land use data.
  • At state or regional scales, the iTRAM rail freight commodity concept is expected to be transferable
    • Local knowledge is required in the adapting process (CWS)
    • While very much a “work in progress”, the iTRAM rail freight model is expected to advance the practice of freight modeling nationwide.
contact information
Contact Information

Ron Eash

Parsons Brinckerhoff

230 West Monroe Street Suite 900

Chicago IL 60606