electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
We present a simulation-based flexible platform developed to support strategic and tactical decision making related to terminal design and redesign. The platform may be used to implement a wide range of rail-road terminal models, in a rather detailed manner. Moreover, the platform is very easy to use, as no programming skills are needed to construct a complete terminal model and run simulations with it. The platform is composed of two basic elements: a terminal simulation model implemented in Witness (R) (a commercial simulator) and an interface, implemented in MS Excel (R), which enables the user to define the terminal in terms of resources, infrastructures, layout and demand patterns for trains and trucks. The platform provides indicators of service level, productivity and resource use. After presenting the platform, we illustrate its use through a case study where we implement the model of a specific terminal and study its performance under a variety of working conditions.