Strategic Analysis for Optimisation of Transport Processes
- Zug der Nord-Ostsee-Bahn im Bahnhof Itzehoe
- © FG SFWBB / S. Koch
Rail transport finds itself facing new challenges: changing demand behaviour, changing circumstances, changing standards. Public transport in general and rail transport in particular have to take on board the altered conditions to be able to persist economically. In the following you can gain insight into our current research on sustainable supply and production models in passenger and freight transport.
Strategies in Passenger Transport
Rail passenger transport has not yet sufficiently succeeded in breaking habitualised mode choice decisions of price sensitive demanders and thus to stimulate additional trips. At the same time, low cost airlines have been demonstrating for quite some time how an aggressive price policy can induce new traffic whilst, provided appropriate cost structure, enabling profitable operations. The chair examines the transferability and modifiability of the instruments used in aviation (e.g. yield management systems) as well as fundamental possibilities and potential of low cost offers in rail passenger transport.
Integrated mobility services of railways and airlines still represent a niche product, in spite of the high investments in the interface optimisation. A substantial reason for this is the high degree of complexity of intermodal 'seamless travel' solutions and the associated cost structure barriers as well as the high potential for errors. Within the frame of project orders from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and a dissertation, both, success factors of intermodal mobility solutions in long-distance transport (such as for example in the accompanying study for the SWISS & CNL product Night&Flight) as well as combi-ticketing including regional transport are analysed.
Rail Freight Transport
One of the core themes of the chair is the development of methods for time and cost reduction in rail freight transport using innovative technologies. Both, operational aspects, like capacity calculation of lines and nodes, and innovative production methods are discussed. These concepts are based on investigation into the required basic technologies, technologies for rolling loading of non-craneable semi-trailers or automated central buffer coupling. Costs can be reduced for example by a better integration of rail freight transport into transport chains, leading to faster transhipment and sorting processes and therefore to shorter waiting and idle times. The aim is to offer services that can fulfil the requirements of modern logistics systems referring to shipping time, flexibility and shipment size. At the same time, the system costs shall be reduced by trimming of production processes and better usage of infrastructure and rolling material.
- Functional Structuring of Freight Transport Networks 
- Innovative and Alternative Transport Systems for Sea Port logistics 
- Slot Management in Rail Freight Yards 
- Study on future development of production technology in rail freight traffic 
- Potentials for Modal Shift of Freight Traffic towards Rail Transport 
- Viable Wagonload Production Schemes (ViWaS) 
- SWIFTLY Green 
Operational Infrastructure for the Future
Infrastructure of guided transport systems is characterised by the use of large investment resources in the deployment phase on the one side, and by long durability on the other. Therefore, expansion, modification and extension of railway infrastructure always stand in the area of tension between the desirable state in terms of operational concerns, and the restrained use of the available financial resources.
Information and Knowledge Management
Preparing and providing transport science know-how for policy makers as well as the support of competence networks is an important task of our research.
Within the setup of the ‘Research and Information Network Mobility, Transport and Urban Development’, led by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), our Chair undertakes the evaluation and processing of the available knowledge in the field of 'General Issues of Guided Transport Modes'. The 'Competence Network for Innovative Transport Solutions' of the BMVBS is also provided editorial support from one of the members of the Chair. Furthermore, the Chair is an active member of the European Rail Research Network of Excellence.