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467505-1 Report Abstract

Evaluating Intermodal Freight Terminals: A Framework for Government Participation

Kevin M. Anderson and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin, August 1998, 126 pp. (467505-1)

A method for rating the intermodal freight terminals as candidates for government funded access improvements is proposed in this report.

Government agencies desire to meet certain transportation objectives including the reduction of highway congestion, reduction of emissions, reduction of highway deterioration, and the improvement of fuel efficiency. Since greater utilization of all modes is a means of achieving these goals, government agencies clearly have a vested interest in promoting intermodalism.

The rail segment and sea segment of intermodal freight are the more cost effective modes while truck segments allow service to anywhere served by the highway network. Primary intermodal freight bottlenecks are related to the transfer between modes. Improving terminal efficiency and accessibility will reduce total travel time and ultimately will increase intermodal volume. Government funding for terminal access improvements will benefit the public by helping to achieve the stated goals.

This report presents an overview of the intermodal freight transportation industry. Then government intermodal freight planning and participation including examples of government sponsored intermodal projects are presented. An intermodal freight planning procedure is then proposed. A terminal capacity analysis is performed as required for a terminal prioritization process. Finally, three prioritization strategies are proposed and illustrated using data collected from Texas. The system is designed to rank priority by facility for a given network, utilizing facility operational and physical attributes.

Keywords: Intermodal, Intermodal Freight, Intermodal Network, Container Ports, Freight, Rail Yard, ISTEA

Report not available electronically.
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Reference Report #467505-1