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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2014, Article ID 349341, 12 pages
Research Article

Allocating Freight Empty Cars in Railway Networks with Dynamic Demands

State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

Received 24 March 2014; Accepted 22 July 2014; Published 1 September 2014

Academic Editor: Agacik Zafer

Copyright © 2014 Ce Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper investigates the freight empty cars allocation problem in railway networks with dynamic demands, in which the storage cost, unit transportation cost, and demand in each stage are taken into consideration. Under the constraints of capacity and demand, a stage-based optimization model for allocating freight empty cars in railway networks is formulated. The objective of this model is to minimize the total cost incurred by transferring and storing empty cars in different stages. Moreover, a genetic algorithm is designed to obtain the optimal empty cars distribution strategies in railway networks. Finally, numerical experiments are given to show the effectiveness of the proposed model and algorithm.