Improving the quality of rail freight services by managing the time-based attributes: the case of non-bulk rail network in Australia
The increasing role of the rail industry in freight markets has been a focusing point when developing transport policies by many governments across the world. The non-bulk freight market in Australia is an example where competition between road and rail is well pronounced. Long transit times and low levels of reliability are key concerns of freight customers hindering their use of rail for interstate freight movements. With the objective of quantitatively evaluating the trade-offs between transit time and reliability, this paper provides insights on how managing the time-based transport attributes can create a competitive advantage for rail transport. To investigate the impact of reducing transit time on train punctuality, an arrival distribution function was developed for both actual and reduced transit time scenarios. The results of the case study show that a marginal reduction in transit time can significantly improve the service reliability in shorter corridors.