Research article

Evaluating primary forest fuel rail terminals with discrete event simulation: A case study from Austria

Ulrich J. Wolfsmayr , Rossana Merenda, Peter Rauch, Francesco Longo, Manfred Gronalt

Ulrich J. Wolfsmayr
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Email: ulrich.wolfsmayr@boku.ac.at
Rossana Merenda
University of Calabria, Italy
Peter Rauch
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Francesco Longo
University of Calabria, Italy
Manfred Gronalt
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Online First: July 13, 2015
Wolfsmayr, U., Merenda, R., Rauch, P., Longo, F., Gronalt, M. 2015. Evaluating primary forest fuel rail terminals with discrete event simulation: A case study from Austria. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2015.428


Biomass rail transport is a useful alternative to unimodal truck transport for medium or long transport distances, if only a short road pre-haulage is required. Up to now primary forest fuels (PFF) are rarely transported on the rail network in Austria and rail terminals able to tranship notable volumes are not established yet. The objective of this study is to investigate the potentials of existing transhipment infrastructure for introducing and operating PFF terminals. Such PFF terminals enable a regular PFF supply to bioenergy plants and additionally provide opportunities for buffer storage and production processes like comminution. Three existing railway sidings in South, Central and Western Austria were chosen to serve as a multimodal transhipment hub with a road pre-haulage and a rail main-haulage for this case study. The logistic potential of these terminals was investigated, modelling the specific PFF supply chains, by means of a discrete event simulation. Simulation results provide daily and annual transhipment capacities and revealed bottlenecks in the terminal layout under different supply scenarios.


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