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Applications of Operations Research Models at CSX

AcharyaDr. Dharma Acharya
AVP Operations Research
CSX Transportation
April 4th, 2014, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
500 John D. Tickle Engineering Building

Dr. Dharma Acharya is an Assistant Vice President – Operations Research at CSX Transportation in the department of Service Design, where he has been since July 1994. He heads the Operations Research Group at CSX Transportation.  Over the past 19 years at CSX, Dr. Acharya has also led a number of analytical teams involved in saving millions of dollars from improving rail productivity and services.

Before joining CSX, Dr. Acharya was at the Research and Test Department of the Association of American Railroads.  While at the AAR, he developed a number of maintenance-of-way and rolling stock component deterioration and life-cycle costing systems and also published a number of research reports and papers in this area. Dr. Acharya graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Transportation Systems in 1990.  He has a Master of Science from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Bachelor of Science in Highway Engineering from Tong-Ji University in Shanghai, China. Dr. Acharya has been awarded CSX President’s Award of Excellence in 2001, INFORMS 2009 Franz Edelman Finalist Award for achievement in the practice of operations research and the management sciences, TRF Outstanding Paper on Rail Topics, Transportation Research Forum, Arlington, VA. Dr. Acharya has presented many papers and served in various official positions of INFORMS Rail Application Section including treasurer, session chairs, cluster chairs, Vice Chair and Chair. He can be reached at

Talk Abstract: CSX Transportation, a major US freight railway company, utilizes a variety of Operations Research (OR) models/techniques to improve utilization of assets (e.g., locomotives, crews, cars, and rail infrastructure) and efficiency of rail operations.  Examples of optimization, simulation, and predictive analytics based applications used by various departments within CSX will be described. In addition to providing analytical support to the Senior Management team, the OR group at CSX is also responsible for developing, acquiring, utilizing, and/or implementing decision support systems to help maintain better operating plans and improve utilization of resources such as locomotives, crews, cars, and track.  A number of decision support tools developed by the team have become an integral part of day-to-day business processes at CSX.