Log Movement in the Superior Region - Rate and Capacity Based Analysis of Modal Shares

MTU Project Information


NuRail Project IDNURail2018-MTU-R16
Project TitleLog Movement in the Superior Region - Rate and Capacity Based Analysis of Modal Shares
UniversityMichigan Technology University
Project ManagerPasi Lautala
Principal InvestigatorPasi Lautala
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)
Total Project Cost$
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT12-G-UTC18 (Grant 1)
Start Date2018-01-15
End Date2019-04-30
Location
Brief Description of Research ProjectOver the past decades, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin have seen reduced rail business. One of the industries that has been challenges by reductions is the forest products industry. Moving logs by rail from aggregation points to the mills has been a very cost effective and safe method of moving raw material. Unfortunately, most of these movements start or end on branch lines and move below average distances to reach the mills, making profitable business case for rail movements difficult.

The main objective of this study is to conduct a detailed analysis of the log movements to determine how and if a better business case can be built by improving the operational characteristics of log movements. This study will use actual train movement data from rail carriers and log movements data provided by the members of the Michigan Forest Products Council to create a spatial simulation model of the region. The model will analyze log movements by rail and truck and look at where and how opportunities may be created to improve the business case, such as identifying locations where larger shipment sizes can be concentrated at once.

In addition to log movements, the project will also look into potential to increase the rail movements of other products in and out the region, especially the final products by the forest products companies and other industries with sizable freight volumes.
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Final Report