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Shared-Use: Background and Rationale for the Research 11 Task 10--Hypothetical Case Study Task 11/12 Consolidated Report--Demonstration Program and Recommended Practices As mandated, the report includes the output of the project tasks, synthesizes prior research on related topics, and describes advantages and disadvantages of shared-track operations, and fulfills the project objectives: 1. Provides a business case for shared use of non-FRA-compliant public transit vehicles (e.g., light rail) with freight operations; 2. Suggests business models for such an operation; 3. Identifies and evaluates available and emerging technology, operating procedures, and tech- niques that could be used to minimize the risks associated with sharing of track between non- FRA-compliant public transit rail vehicles and freight railroad operations; and 4. Serves as a guide for identifying the issues that may be faced by new project sponsors of a shared use operation. This Practitioner's Guide is designed to be accessible to a variety of users of diverse exper- tise, background, responsibilities, and interests. The reader is supplied with a "to-do" list of specific actions and guidelines that can serve as a "primer" for the development of a transit system that shares track with a freight operator. A checklist includes advantages and disadvan- tages of different options and notes the constraints, barriers and pitfalls that might impede progress. Defining Shared-Track The focus of this research is "shared-track". This phrase implies cotemporaneous use of the same track and corridor by light rail transit vehicles and conventional freight equipment. The terms "shared use" and "shared corridor" are apt to be used interchangeably, but "shared-track" and "shared use" will be utilized here to describe concurrent train operations with these two dif- ferent categories of equipment. In the context of this research the terms incidental corridor or route sharing is implied also, but the defining characteristic is true commingled operation of these two types of equipment on the same track. Reader's Guide to the Final Report The guide below is intended as a tool to assist in locating or selecting specific topics and issues for review. The work program task products are condensed and organized into five sections. This portion of the report is preceded by an Executive Summary, which concentrates and highlights the key findings. The Appendices, which contain specific information, or details that illustrate or expand on report content, follow the report itself. Information is displayed in five major groups: background for the research effort, institutional elements, the technological and opera- tional facets, a practitioner's guide, and suggestions on advancing the concept. Chapter 1--Shared-Use: Background and Rationale for the Research Introductory and background material. Includes this "Reader's Guide", followed by brief contextual information about shared-track. The section defines the operational concept, dis- cusses the typical freight characteristics and lists attributes that make a route an attractive can- didate for shared-track operation. A description of the research approach recounts its aims and focus, and the results of the team effort to identify, obtain, and organize the information used to prepare this handbook. The preparatory work includes a literature search; contacts with vendors and operators; and surveys and interviews with operators, suppliers, and regulators.