Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems. Topic 36-10. Impact of Intermodal Freight Terminals Closures

What happens when the railroad discontinues service to an intermodal truck-rail freight terminal? In the 1970's there were more than 1500 truck-rail intermodal freight facilities, defined here as terminals, which load and unload truck trailers and containers to and from freight trains. By 1998, after many rail mergers and line rationalizations, there were fewer than 370 terminals in operation. As of January 2004 there are only 303 operational intermodal freight facilities. Industry standards indicate that a stand-alone intermodal terminal must generate 13,000 - 21,000 container lifts per year. Where does this freight go after the terminal is closed down? What impact do these closures have on the local communities and the regional economy? How many jobs are lost? What can State DOT's and MPO's do to facilitate freight mobility when intermodal freight terminals are closed? This synthesis will investigate the existing information available about the closings of intermodal truck-rail freight terminals across the U.S. The communications and planning processes, which were implemented before, during and, after the closure, will be investigated. Best practices in mitigating impacts resulting from the eventual mode shifts from rail to truck will also be explored. State DOT's, local MPO's and Regional Economic Development Authorities may be contacted in the study. The synthesis may be broadened to include closure of other types of intermodal facility, according to the wishes of the panel overseeing the study.


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  • Status: Terminated
  • Funding: $12000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Vlasak, Donna

  • Performing Organizations:

    Prime Focus LLC

    918 Fox River Drive
    De Pere, WI  United States  54115
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ogard, Elizabeth

  • Start Date: 20041230
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20060401
  • Source Data: RiP Project 9798

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01460759
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:31PM