This report is part of an integrated series of studies on the effects of local and regional railroads on rail transportation in North Dakota. The purpose of this component of the Rail Services Planning (RSP) Study is to analyze the potential impacts of local and regional railroads on intramodal and intermodal competition in North Dakota. A set of models is formulated in the study to project the cost of grain shipments for five combinations of railroads and modes: (1) Burlington Northern (BN) origination and termination, (2) local railroad origination with BN interchange, (3) Soo Line origination and termination, (4) Soo Line/local railroad combination, (5) motor carrier. It is assumed in the study that the grain traffic originates on a branch line with a density of 21 cars per mile, and that each shipment travels approximately 43 miles on the branch. The principal findings of the study are: (1) on the average, motor carriers cannot be cost-competitive with a BN/local railroad network at distances greater than 250 miles; (2) the sale of lines by the BN will significantly enhance their existing cost advantage over the Soo Line; and (3) reducing the Soo Line's crew consist from 4 to 2 1/2 persons on branch-line trains will lower their on-branch costs by only 5%. Therefore, if the BN sells a substantial amount of branch-line track in North Dakota, the Soo Line will probably have to sell their lighter-density lines to local operators in order to remain competitive.

  • Corporate Authors:

    North Dakota State University, Fargo

    1301 12th Avenue North
    Fargo, ND  United States  58105

    North Dakota State Highway Department

    State Highway Building, Capitol Grounds
    Bismarck, ND  United States  58505

    Federal Railroad Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Tolliver, D D
  • Publication Date: 1989-11

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 21 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00493632
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UGPTI Report No. 77
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1990 12:00AM