The current decline in market share of U.S. railways for merchandise traffic has led the Federal Railroad Administration to initiate a major study of the shortcomings and potential of rail piggyback and intermodal operations. The study examines merchandise movements, transport services' modal and economic capabilities, and shipper needs and practices. A model of rail intermodal services over a hypothetical 52,000 km (32,500-mile) route structure serving 120 cities was developed. Results indicate that the current piggyback market share of total containerizable freight in the U.S. is about 4 percent and that the principal impediments to the shipper of rail intermodal services were costs and service. The study recommends cost reductions in rail operations and service improvements. The rail network modeled could handle three times the current trailer-on-flatcar volume by 1980, and transport cost might be reduced by an estimated $200 million a year. The Federal Railroad Administration and cooperating railroads have begun a series of demonstrations to test the practicability of the study results and rail intermodalism. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 67-68
  • Monograph Title: Rail planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184692
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026857
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM