Persistence with outdated designs; inexperience of owners, designers, and contractors; and low-volume activity are reasons why catenary costs on some U.S. railroad electrification projects have been unnecessarily high. Conversely, other projects either recently completed or newly bid do show significantly lower costs. Based on this evidence, there is no reason why catenary costs for main-line freight or highspeed railroads should not fall below $150,000 per single track mile at 1983 prices. In light rail systems, too, current estimates based on California projects show significant savings because of the use of catenary systems rather than old-style tramway overhead. In this paper those factors that are already lowering catenary costs are identified. In due course, as electrification becomes more widespread, as contractors become more familiar with construction, and as railroad engineering and operations staff cooperate with the contractor to speed up installation, three things can occur: catenary costs can come down, the benefits of electrification can be made available to the operators sooner, and much of the conjecture associated with catenary costs can be avoided.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 52-57
  • Monograph Title: Rail papers - 1984
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00391339
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309036739
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1985 12:00AM