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Railway Freight Research in Brazil and the EU

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marin Marinov, Clare Woroniuk



1. Objective The objective of this paper is threefold, namely: to analyse the current situation within rail freight operations in the EU and Brazil, to compare rail freight practices in the geographical areas in question at a macro level of analysis and to present several cases of rail freight operations research employing modelling and simulations which have been conducted in Brazil and the EU. To achieve this objective, this research aims to explore the potential of rail freight in Brazil and the EU, through collaboration between railway research institutions in the EU and in Brazil. For the purposes of this study, rail researchers from the EU and Brazil have begun to analyse railway freight operations, practices and safety and security issues. Synergies have been identified which have led to a better understanding of both systems and knowledge sharing. Through the completion of this research it is envisaged that similarities and differences between both systems will be determined and that through the identification of imminent problems common methodologies can be further developed and employed to complete collaborative research. 2. Data/Methodology In order to identify a framework for rail freight operations research, the current situation in the EU and Brazil has been analysed. Current rail freight practices in Brazil have been discussed by the Brazilian partners from IME, UFRJ and Campus Santos Dumont - IFSudesteMG and EU practices have been presented by the partner from the EU, NewRail. Differences and similarities have been identified in production patterns and in the research methodologies employed. It has been observed that, event based simulation models are employed to assess the capacity of rail freight facilities and corridors. Based on this, two cases have been carefully selected for presentation (an industrial siding in Brazil and an EU rail freight corridor). 3. Results/Findings Variation within production methods has been observed; meaning a heavy haul production system transporting bulk goods dominates in Brazil, wherein a substantial number of services operate single wagon load services. Market developments have influenced production systems within the EU, as a result, the system has adapted to incorporate market needs, block and liner trains hold the majority market share. Differences and similarities have been identified within research methodologies, the approaches analysed contain measures of performance and include simulation modelling, which suggests that a niche exists for future developments. 4. Implications for Research/Policy This study will continue to develop solid foundations for rail freight research, wherein the following implications are anticipated: a greater understanding and the opportunity to raise awareness of current problems in rail freight both in Brazil and the EU. The further development of comprehensive research methodologies is expected to assist in problem resolution for rail freight systems in urban areas and regions. It is also envisaged that the research will have a positive impact on rail freight teaching and training programmes in the universities of participating institutions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marinov M, Woroniuk C, Lopes L, Oliveira A, Marujo L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: World Conference of Transport Research (WCTR)

Year of Conference: 2013

Date deposited: 12/05/2013