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CHAPTER 1 Shared-Use: Background and Rationale for the Research Introduction The focus of this investigation is shared use of track by lighter weight rail transit vehicles (e.g., light rail vehicles) that do not meet current FRA crashworthiness regulations with standard freight railroad rolling stock. "Commingled" use of track has significant potential for public tran- sit expansion because rail freight corridors that crisscross the nation often provide the only trans- portation corridors to connect suburban development around urban communities. In the con- text of this research the terms "shared use or shared-track" imply cotemporaneous and/or concurrent use of a track by both freight and these lighter, non-FRA-compliant public transit vehicles. Transportation planners may view an existing freight rail corridor as a potential commu- nity asset with a prospect for shared-use. Each corridor has a unique set of operating issues. Whether publicly or privately owned, to realize this potential each requires development of new techniques, operating rules, and technology applications. For example, transit agencies have acquired rail corridors but are required to maintain pre-existing freight services, or pub- lic transit operators have been able to reach shared-use agreements with existing railroads. In either case, the FRA maintains jurisdiction and oversees use of the corridors based on reg- ulations, laws, and policies developed during a century of safety oversight of the railroad industry. Research is essential to create a better understanding of the business case for shared-track by public transit and freight operations, to develop suitable business models for shared used, and to understand how technology, operating procedures, and techniques can be applied to address the key risks associated with these shared-track operations. This Final Report (originally designated as Task 13 of the work program) was prepared using the results of Tasks 1 through 5, the approved version of the Interim Report, and results of Tasks 7 through 12 (listed below). Further detail and in-depth analysis for specific inquiries may be available in one of the task reports prepared as part of this research. A summary description of each research task is in Appendix 3 "TCRP A-27 Research Task Descriptions." Task 1 and 2 Consolidated Report--Current and Emerging Train Control Technologies Task 3--Command and Control Systems Task 4--Light Rail Passenger Vehicles for Shared-track Task 5--Shared Track Operations and Appendix Task 6--Phase I Interim Report Task 7--Freight Railroad Characteristics Task 8--Business Model Task 9--Business Case and Practical Guide 10