BASF Ludwigshafen

Simulations of industrial sidings processes within BASF – minimizing operation costs; investigating the operation during infrastructure rebuilding stage.







BASF Ludwigshafen

Realization year:


Terminal type:

Industrial sidings with marshalling yard
BASF Ludwigshafen



BASF is the world's leading chemical company, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The industrial sidings of the Ludwigshafen facility with nearly 300 km of tracks belongs to the largest in Europe. The facility includes own marshalling yard with a double track hump, more than 20 classification sidings and enormous capacity of holding tracks. Each day, several dozens of production halls have to be supplied with rail cars to deliver material and transport finished products. Some of the goods are also transported utilising nearby container terminal KTL.


problems and study goals:

BASF model in Villon

The main goal of simulation studies (partly executed in cooperation with the Dresden Technical University) was the rationalisation of the operation and investigation of the influences of the nearby container terminal reconstruction. With respect to the main goals, following problems and tasks were identified:

  • Concentration of 24 hour operation into 18 hours
  • Investigation of poor utilisation of shunting engines and personnel
  • Lowering the costs of shunting and train building operations
  • Improving the management of holding tracks
  • Evaluation of the benefits of hump and track scales modernisation
  • Evaluation of benefits of tracks equipped with electric local-controlled switches
  • Operation of the facility during reconstruction of the KTL


study results:

Within the frame of several simulation studies many experiments to investigate all mentioned problems were conducted and their results supplied to the customer and cooperator. The simulation studies helped to rationalise the industrial sidings operation and lower the running costs. Operational measures for the reconstruction phase were proposed and evaluated, new operational concepts developed that enabled to reduce 24 hour operation to a shorter time.

More information about this project can be found in following article (in German) - Die rechnergestützte Simulation des Betriebs in Werkbahn – BASF Ludwigshafen.