Web-Based Screening Tool for Shared-Use Rail Corridors

As the United States emerges from the current recession, the country will once again face increased congestion on its highways and capacity constraints on its national rail system. In response to increased public demand for energy efficient transportation alternatives, Congress enacted the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (Act). Subpart j of the Act directs the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop partnerships between the freight and passenger railroad industries and to provide assistance in assessing railroad operations, capacity, and capital requirements on shared-use corridors where publicly funded passenger rail trains are operated over privately owned freight rail lines. Nearly all Amtrak service operates over privately owned freight rail lines as will most of the new and enhanced intercity and commuter rail service now under consideration. In fact, the shared-use corridor concept is critical to the further development of all forms of passenger rail service. Historically, the federal government has provided capital and operating grants to ensure intercity and commuter rail service. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 authorized $9.3 billion to the FRA for high-speed rail corridors and intercity passenger rail service. Several states have well-established rail passenger programs through which capital and operating funds are provided for all forms of passenger rail services. Other states and regional authorities are beginning to implement passenger rail service plans and projects. Given the limited resources available for such projects, it is important that public agencies have a screening tool that will identify rail passenger projects that warrant further detailed investigation utilizing more rigorous analytic tools. The objective of this research is to develop a web-based tool to enable states and passenger rail operators to perform preliminary feasibility screening of proposed shared-use passenger and freight rail corridor projects. The goal of the tool is to assist in preliminary analysis as defined in the FRA publication, Rail Corridor Transportation Plans, A Guidance Manual (http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/rrdev/corridor_planning.pdf). The tool is not intended to support either capital budgeting or facility design beyond the schematic/conceptual level.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 30

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    National Cooperative Freight Research Program

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

    Rogers, William

  • Start Date: 20100901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25206

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01461701
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 30
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:50PM