The Train Marshalling Problem consists of rearranging an incoming train in a marshalling yard in such a way that cars with the same destinations appear consecutively in the final train and the number of needed sorting tracks is minimized. Besides an initial roll-in operation, just one pull-out operation is allowed. This problem was introduced by Dahlhaus et al. who also showed that the problem is NP-complete. In this paper, we provide a new lower bound on the optimal objective value by partitioning an appropriate interval graph. Furthermore, we consider the corresponding online problem, for which we provide upper and lower bounds on the competitiveness and a corresponding optimal deterministic online algorithm. We provide an experimental evaluation of our lower bound and algorithm which shows the practical tightness of the results.

In the generalized max flow problem, the aim is to find a maximum flow in a generalized network, i.e., a network with multipliers on the arcs that specify which portion of the flow entering an arc at its tail node reaches its head node. We consider this problem for the class of series-parallel graphs. First, we study the continuous case of the problem and prove that it can be solved using a greedy approach. Based on this result, we present a combinatorial algorithm that runs in O(m*m) time and a dynamic programming algorithm with running time O(m*log(m)) that only computes the maximum flow value but not the flow itself. For the integral version of the problem, which is known to be NP-complete, we present a pseudo-polynomial algorithm.