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52 Shared Use of Railroad Infrastructure with Noncompliant Public Transit Rail Vehicles: A Practitioner's Guide 1) Public Ownership and Control The transit authority typically purchases the service line, makes infrastructure improvements necessary for higher speed/higher frequency passenger operation, and then provides freight access to the satisfaction of the former owner of the line. The transfer of ownership and control appears to offer tangible benefits to both the transit operators and the freight railroad. These common arrangements demonstrate the appeal of shared-track to shortline railroad operators. Of advantage to the railroads is that infrastructure costs and primary risk gets shifted to the transit operators. A. Infrastructure investment. New rail transit operations usually require substantial upgrades to the former freight-only branch line to raise operating speeds, improve ride quality, increase capacity by adding second tracks and sidings, and building stations and transit car yards. Public investment in infrastructure is protected and facilitated if the underlying corridor is transferred to public ownership and control. All but two of the eight systems in current oper- ation (or in final design) entail public ownership, control, and maintenance of the shared track infrastructure. Five of the 12 systems in various stages of planning have identified the need for public ownership or control of the shared track infrastructure (see Appendix 8, "Shared-Track System Status"). B. High density light passenger rail vehicle operations. All operational and most planned shared- track operations feature much higher densities of light rail transit trains than conventional railway train. The daily ratio of light passenger trains to conventional trains is at least thirty to one, as shown in Table 6. At these relative traffic densities, it seems obvious that the passen- ger service should own and control the shared line. This finding underscores the observation that the U.S. shared-track challenge (at this time) is not really about the operation of non- compliant railcars on the conventional railroad system, but instead should be considered as the operation of low-density freight operations on urban transit tracks. By contrast the most celebrated aspects of the Karlsruhe model demonstrate that on one line the vast majority of trains use conventional equipment. 2) Former Private Freight Railroad Owner Becomes a Privileged Tenant When the shared-track system is in planning and development, the freight railroad owning the critical right-of-way is in a powerful position to negotiate. While the nature of the shared- Table 6. Daily passenger to freight train count ratios. Passenger: System Status Freight Ratio San Diego Operating 74:1 Salt Lake Operating 79:1 City Trenton- Operating 23:1 Camden Oceanside Operating 32:1 Escondido Atlanta EIS 75:1 Madison * EIS 13:1* Austin * Engineering 2.4:1* Note: Austin and Madison are considered exceptions. Both are planning to operate a commuter-rail style service. Madison is planning hourly headways in the off-peak; Austin is planning to run peak hour services only, due to substantial (and increasing) freight volumes on the publicly-owned line.