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CHAPTER 4 Shared-Track: A Handbook of Examples and Applications A transit agency making the choice to pursue a shared-track system will be able to provide service to a greater passenger base. As a starting point all shared-track projects require a will- ing freight partner. The tool-kit presented here is designed to create a map for the practitioner to navigate the steps to accomplish this goal more quickly and easily than might be otherwise possible: 1. Transit agencies that have already studied potential shared track operation provide a base- line of experience and lessons that can be used in the future for exploration of possible options. Some jurisdictions are exploring ways to allow a limited number of freight trains to operate during passenger service off-peak hours. These experiences are recounted here in Chapter 4. 2. The business case template section starts with a review of the costs and benefits of shared-track compared to other alternatives and lays out the analytical steps. What are the trade-offs between the shared-track alternative and other investments that could equally service mass-transit needs? For each of the alternatives, a detailed cost analysis is required. The worksheets provided here allow entry of data collected into eight broad categories of costs. 3. A template for risk analysis and its application to the safety case is described. Conclusions derived from the business and safety case templates are presented. 4. Another portion is devoted to shared-track transit systems in San Diego and Southern New Jersey as illustrations of what works, incremental progress, and an American approach to shared-track transit operations. 5. Specific guidelines that increase the likelihood of implementation success. Shared-Track Operations--The North American Experience The team was tasked to inventory North American agencies with planned or existing shared-track programs. No domestic entity runs a truly contemporaneous operation. Because of restrictions imposed by existing regulations, most of these are near shared-track operations. Nevertheless, results of their experience and lessons learned can be transferred to future projects. While their diverse operations and situations also offer a range of experience, a review of the results reveals common traits and challenges facing transit systems planning or operating service where light transit equipment shares track with conventional railroad trains. An extensive review of findings can be found in the report prepared for Task 5. Appendix 8 provides a status summary and oper- ating characteristics of 20 systems: those currently operating (7 systems), in final design (1 system), environmental impact study (5 systems), feasibility study (2 systems), and those that chose to avoid commingled operation (5 systems). 51