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BNSF to host December freight-rail operations research workshop

The Rail Applications Special Interest Group -- a division of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science -- recently scheduled a research workshop for Dec. 5-7 at Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters.

Entitled "Operations Research (OR) in Railroads; Challenges and Opportunities," the workshop is designed to promote freight-rail operations research. The event will feature lectures and panel discussions led by academicians and practitioners involved in research, and presentations by senior railroad management executives on how they schedule and plan operations, and what types of planning tools should be developed.

"Although the railroad transportation industry is rich with planning and scheduling problems that can be modeled and solved through operations research techniques, these techniques are not widely used throughout the rail industry," event organizers said in a workshop brochure. "The complexity of railroad scheduling problems, as well as the information technology infrastructure to capture real-time data, are the greatest impediments to the use of [manual decision-making] techniques."

The workshop is jointly sponsored by BNSF, Norfolk Southern Corp., CSX Transportation, Innovative Scheduling Systems, MultiModal Applied Systems Inc. and Carmen Systems AB.

For more information, call Ann Klein of BNSF at 817-352-0323, email her at or visit

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More News from 11/15/2004