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Introduction G-3 Exhibit 1-1. Range of Specific Actions to Promote Greater Use of Rail. nantly served by private carriers. Planning and analysis of rail freight solutions needs a dialogue among planners and representatives of railroads, trucking companies, and local shippers to obtain information and appropriately assess opportunities. To achieve an effective dialogue, railroad officials and transportation planners will have to broaden their perspectives. Railroads usually approach planning in terms of markets, lanes, and corridors, which is the "terrain" that terminals can cover and where trains will run. Public agen- cies, on the other hand, are oriented to the elements of infrastructure at various scales going from individual facilities to urban travel corridors, citywide networks, intercity corridors, and state or regional networks. This guide seeks to recognize the different public and private perspectives by presenting discussions of the issues, opportunities, and constraints that they are likely to encounter in seeking rail freight solutions to highway congestion. 1.2 Objective and Organization of this Guide Target Audiences This guide provides guidance on both technical analysis and processes for inter-organizational cooperation. It is aimed at transportation planners at both state and regional agencies as well as freight planners at private transportation companies and decision-makers who control funding and implementation of transportation investments. Needs for Planning Guidance Because this gap between highway demand and capacity is forecast to accelerate in the future, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of multi-modal planning and, specifically, the need for more attention to rail freight issues and opportunities in the planning process. This has led both public agency planners and private transportation company officials to recognize

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G-4 Guidebook for Assessing Rail Freight Solutions to Roadway Congestion a need for tools and methods that they can use to address freight transportation planning issues. These needs fall into three broad subject areas: Processes for Public Investment Planning. Traditionally, most state DOTs and MPOs have focused their infrastructure planning largely on highways and given less attention to rail investment, for the fundamental reason that they control investment in highways while they typically do not own or control investment in railroads or rail right of way. However, there is a growing recognition that (1) more multi-modal public planning is needed for freight move- ment, (2) such planning should include rail as well as highway options for freight movement, and (3) that rail freight planning, if done well, can help address a wide range of issues relating to security, congestion, safety, and air quality. Methods to Identify Transportation Issues and Assess Potential Solutions. Before expand- ing multi-modal investment analysis for freight movement, it is necessary for state and regional transportation planning agencies to clarify the range of possible transportation issues that should be addressed, define the range of potentially feasible rail and highway solutions to be assessed, and apply appropriate methods to assess their relative benefits and costs. For instance, while there is a current emphasis on addressing problems of growing highway con- gestion, planners need workable ways of assessing these needs and identifying feasible rail- freight solutions for them. Approaches for Private-Public Cooperation. Given the private ownership of many railroad and truck-rail intermodal facilities, rail freight planning must involve both the private and public sectors. At the same time, key representatives of cargo shipping, trucking, and railroad companies also have a strong interest in seeing improved planning and investment, as they are keenly aware of the current shortcomings and needs for improvement in existing road and rail infrastructure systems serving freight movement. Thus, there is clear opportunity for enhanc- ing private-public cooperative relationships in freight infrastructure planning. The range of analysis and decision issues covered by this guide is shown in Exhibit 1-2. The graphic illustrates how technical analysis of project and policy alternatives must be conducted Exhibit 1-2. Decision-Making Process for Rail Freight Investment.

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Introduction G-5 together with public-private dialogue to consider the perspectives of all parties that need to be involved in implementing rail freight solutions. Topics Covered This document is designed to provide three types of guidance: Planning Process Guidance. Guidelines for planners to identify the types of situations where rail freight is potentially relevant as a consideration for addressing roadway congestion and the types of organizations and factors that need to be considered; Analysis Guidance. Guidelines for assessing the effectiveness of potential rail freight alterna- tives as solutions to transportation problems and a description of available analysis methods that can be used to assess the benefits and costs from public- and private-sector perspectives. Implementation Guidance. Guidelines for determining (1) the types of public- and private- sector involvement most appropriate or likely for implementing rail freight alternatives and (2) approaches for implementing effective public-private cooperation for developing, fund- ing, and implementing various forms of rail freight solutions. Different Levels of Users, Needs, and Project Complexity The guide is intended to provide useful reference material for a wide range of users, who may then tailor the material to meet their needs. The users and their needs can differ in several ways: Levels of Technical Expertise. The guide can provide planners who are novices to this analy- sis topic with a straightforward sequence of five steps they can use to identify rail freight options, initiate discussion with relevant parties, and conduct screenings of them for poten- tial feasibility. At another level, it offers a description of more detailed methods that can be used by experienced professionals to conduct more advanced evaluation applicable for plan- ning and policy analysis. Level of Analytical Detail. The guide describes a "sketch planning" level of analysis that can be efficiently completed with limited information and spreadsheets to establish a rough esti- mate of the potential range of costs and impacts associated with rail freight options to reduce road congestion. The guide's later chapters then describe more comprehensive analytical methods designed to provide detailed estimates on the basis of additional information collection. Level of Project Complexity. The guide has sections to walk readers through a wide range of public- and private-sector actors, their concerns, and constraints. It is designed to provide a platform for identifying and engaging relevant parties in discussion of proposals for both sim- ple and complex projects. Because this guide seeks to be useful for different types of users facing different types of sit- uations, it is not presented as a textbook that just teaches readers how to follow a single set of procedures. Rather, it is designed as a reference tool that provides analysts with the foundation for exploring the many facets of rail freight solutions to traffic congestion. This includes sepa- rate sections on screening of opportunities, creating public-private dialogue, and conducting benefit/cost analysis of alternatives. Organization of this Guide This guide is designed as a set of sections that readers can consult or ignore as appropriate for their particular situations. The sections can be considered in the following groups: Initial Grounding. Chapters 1 and 2 provide a basic grounding in freight analysis issues.

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G-6 Guidebook for Assessing Rail Freight Solutions to Roadway Congestion Chapter 1 (Introduction) defines the coverage of this guide. It classifies the types of situations, issues, and solutions that can be considered in planning and evaluation of rail freight solu- tions to traffic congestion. Chapter 2 (Background: Context) provides information for readers who are not already experts on rail freight planning. It discusses the process of rail freight planning and factors affecting rail/truck diversion. General Guidance. Chapters 3 and 4 provide basic guidance on technical analysis and dis- cussions to ascertain the potential for rail freight to help reduce traffic congestion growth. Chapter 3 (Guidance for Evaluation of Alternatives) outlines a series of five basic analytical steps that can be conducted by planners at relatively low cost to screen available rail freight options for reducing congestion and identify when further discussion and analysis is warranted. Chapter 4 (Guidance for Public-Private Dialogue) discusses needs, uses, and procedures for bringing highway and freight planners in discussion with representatives of institutional play- ers and private-sector freight operators, in order to design cooperative strategies that can be acceptable to key parties. Technical Analysis Methods. The final section provides material for advanced use in analyz- ing options and presenting results in ways that can gain support among diverse parties. Chapter 5 (Detailed Analysis Methods) describes the availability and application of various ana- lytical tools, methods, and data sources for assessing road and rail options, diversion between them, and the relative benefits and costs involved. Additional Resources summarizes additional sources that readers may consult for further infor- mation on evaluation and analysis issues.