STUDIES IN RAILROAD OPERATIONS AND ECONOMICS. A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING THE IMPACTS OF RAILROAD LINE CONSOLIDATIONS

This report develops a methodology for investigating the cost and service impacts arising from the consolidation of parallel railroad main lines. Intense federal interest in consolidations and lack of published evidence to substantiate or refute their value to railroads has intensified a need for such a methodology. The methodology identifies the major impacts to be investigated, estimates (where possible) their probable or maximum magnitude, and organizes a coordinated 13-step procedure for evaluating consolidation alternatives in detail. It includes screening criteria for selecting alternatives to be analyzed and it identifies useful models and sources of data. Two of the more important conclusions are that (1) the net benefits of many consolidations will prove disappointing because substantial traffic often must remain on the downgraded line to serve local industry or make connections to other trains, and (2) that line rehabilitation costs avoided or incurred under a consolidation plan may dominate all other impacts. It follows that a procedure should analyze traffic flows as well as link volumes and that it should test several rehabilitation and investment strategies.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared for the Program of University Research of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Center for Transportation Studies, Room 1121
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02139
  • Authors:
    • French, P W
  • Publication Date: 1976-10

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 270 p.
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 20

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00174353
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MIT-R76-46 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 18 1978 12:00AM