This paper suggests the possibility of converting the federally directed Consolidated Rail Corporation and other financially weak railroads to public toll roads open to a broader group of users. Highways and airways have common tracks over which diversely owned vehicles operate and have a multiplicity of users that the monopoloid rail organizations lack. The institutional factors involved in such a change are seen as posing greater problems than the technological. Established status positions might be changed, and trade-offs are likely to be required. Broader use could range from extending trackage rights to the remaining successful companies to opening the railways to any competent operator willing to pay the tolls. The railway might remain in the private sector or be maintained and controlled by government agencies. Analogies would be to state highway and motor vehicle departments and to the Federal Aviation Administration. Projected federal rail funding requirements in the next decade appear substantial. Adoption of the public highway concept might leave the transportation function in the private sector, while shifting the maintenance function to the public sector. Political support of that latter function could be expected from transportation operators in the private sector.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 18-22
  • Monograph Title: Rail planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184683
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026857
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM