Each trip has certain options that affect the way the server routes over the rail network and the appearance of the reports. Users may also choose between kilometers and miles for distance reporting.
The following options are modifiable via function calls:
The engine uses six different algorithms to calculate a route:
- Practical (P) routings simulate the most likely movements of general merchandise train traffic. Main lines are preferred to branch lines. A Practical route can sometimes be more circuitous than the shortest possible route. Practical is the default routing formula.
- Shortest (S) route calculations find the rail route with the least distance between the stops. In the Single Route entry mode, the shortest path within the railroad is determined for each segment. In AutoRouter, the shortest path across all North American railroads is calculated, irrespective of origin and destination railroad user choices.
- Intermodal (I), Coal/Bulk (C), or Auto Racks (A) may be used to determine the exceptional routings that these types of trains sometimes require.
- Fuel Surcharge (F) routing is essentially a combination of the Shortest and Practical route formulas (because some railroads use Shortest mileage and some use Practical mileage when figuring their fuel surcharges). It provides mileage suitable for calculating fuel surcharges in conformance with the Surface Transportation Board ruling STB Ex Parte No. 661.
Users may direct the routing engine to route over any railroad in the same family as the carrier specified by the user. Valid inputs are: F for Familized, N for Non-Familized. Familized is the default setting.
NOTE: All standard routes are Non-Familized and all AutoRoutes are Familized. Fuel Surcharge routing is not available for AutoRoutes and the Non-Familized setting should be used with this route formula.
Routing can be either Interactive (equivalent to Standard single route mode in the PC*MILER Rail user interface – the user specifies junctions or points), or AutoRoute (the routing engine will determine the carrier junctions for you, given the routing formula). Valid inputs are: I for Interactive, A for AutoRoute. Interactive is the default setting.
Distances can be reported either in miles (the default) or kilometers.
Stations that are intermodal-only can be included or excluded on a Practical route. I for Include (the default), E for Exclude.
When using the AutoRouter, this setting determines if Amtrak routes will be generated. E for Exclude (the default), I for Include.