STATE RESPONSE TO RAILROAD ABANDONMENT

This paper examines the abandonment of railroad plant from the stand-point of state government. After discussing the problem as a matter of national and state concern, the paper suggests a role for the states in analyzing both major and minor abandonment proposels. Abandonment of rail lines is simply one aspect of broader rail and transport policy problems. The abandonment issue involves two different types and levels of concern, branch-line abandonment and major system reduction. Government response to branch-line abandonment has been scattered among various agencies; the rules of the regulatory game have been qualitative and judgmental. The wholesale relinguishment of trackage produces a different sort of public concern. Government response to the threatened system abandonment, precipitated by the well-known problems resulting from the Penn Central merger, culminated with passage of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973. This paper attempts to apply benefit-cost analysis to branch-line abandonment. However, benefit-cost or other methods of analysis must be supplemented or superseded by social-cost considerations. Mediation and advance negotiation are resasonable means of approaching micro abandonments. But the emerging threat of system failure and loss requires additional response by the states. The final portion of this paper describes Wisconsin's involvement in the resolution of rail abandonments.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices; References;
  • Pagination: pp 29-43
  • Monograph Title: INTERCITY FREIGHT MOVEMENT BY RAIL AND HIGHWAY
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00081835
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309023556
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1975 12:00AM