Designing a geo-strategic railway freight network in Brazil using GIS

Cassiano Augusto Isler, Yesid Asaff, Marin Marinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sustainable development of geo-strategic transport networks plays a key role to meet the current expansion of the demand for commerce and economic growth. In this paper, a new geo-strategic railway network for freight services is designed with the purpose of meeting the needs of current and future demands for freight transport in the state of Santa Catarina, South Brazil. The freight flows of bulk cargo, containers, and refrigerated and liquid cargo observed in 2005 and 2015 and expected for 2023 have been analyzed and assigned to a fully connected railway network. The number of trains to meet all the demands has been identified. The links that would have a minimum number of daily trains running on them have also been identified and analyzed. New assignments are proposed and visualized using GIS. Next, location and technical specifications of specialized intermodal terminals focused on the customers’ and operators’ needs are discussed. The study shows that technological specifications for terminal operations play an important role when dealing with multiple freight types and contribute to better use of the existing infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

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


  • Freight transport
  • GIS
  • Geo-strategic railway network design
  • Intermodal terminal


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