Rail to Truck Modal Shift: Impact of Increased Freight Traffic on Pavement Maintenance Costs

The loss of rail network infrastructure and rail service throughout the U.S. has in most instances resulted in the modal shift of rail freight to truck. Rail freight converted to truck may have significant impact on pavement maintenance costs and activities due to the increased highway traffic volumes. This study investigated three short-line rail routes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and determined the potential impact of diverting rail freight flows to truck. A freight flow analysis was undertaken to illustrate the new truck flows by highway classification and usage. The highway route current conditions and asset management techniques were documented. A pavement maintenance model was created to determine the incremental maintenance costs per ton-mile if additional freight moved over various classes of highway and the resulting impact on highway funding.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Wisconsin, Superior

    Transportation and Logistics Research Center
    Superior, WI  United States  54880

    Midwest Regional University Transportation Center

    University of Wisconsin
    2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Room 272
    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Stewart, Richard D
    • Ogard, Libby
    • Pagano, Anthony M
    • Williams, R Christopher
    • Bausano, Jason Paul
  • Publication Date: 2008-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Research Final Report
  • Features: Glossary; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 83p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01100233
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MRUTC 06-03
  • Contract Numbers: 997B566
  • Files: UTC, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 29 2008 9:11AM