Route Name: AutoRoutes are automatically named AutoRoute. A custom name cannot be entered.
Intermodal-Only Stations: This option indicates whether to Include or Exclude stations that provide only intermodal service. Note that when the Intermodal route formula is selected (see below), excluding intermodal-only stations is not an option.
Terminal Switching: When using the AutoRouter, routes with the originating or terminating carrier having a switch move only (common with terminal railroads) may be included or excluded. The default for this option is Exclude. This option affects the number of routes that are generated.
Route Preference: Six route formulas are available to generate routes:
- Practical 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.
- Shortest route calculations find the rail route with the least distance between the stops. For single routes, the shortest path within the railroad is determined for each segment. In the AutoRouter, the shortest path across all North American railroads is calculated, irrespective of the origin and destination railroads chosen by the user.
- Intermodal, Coal/Bulk, or Auto Racks may be used to determine the exceptional routings that these types of trains sometimes require.
- Fuel Surcharge 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. See Fuel Surcharge Railroad Reference, for which railroads use Practical vs. Shortest routing.
Distance Units: Choose whether distances should be calculated in Miles or Kilometers.