Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 43

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 42
42 In the past, it has been difficult to make accurate cost estimates Figure 2.8 shows the impact of a change of the independ- of projects that are still in the preliminary design phase. ent variable "rail journey time" arrayed along the x-axis Of equal importance in the treatment of the cost issue is (horizontal) on the dependent variable "rail market share" that there is no comparable level of project planning com- arrayed along the y-axis (vertical). To use one of the earliest pleted on the East Coast. By way of example, in 1997 the FRA examples of HSR influencing an air market, when Paris estimated the costs of a (smaller) HSR system for California Marseille had a rail journey time of over 4 hours, its rail ver- at $19.5 billion; the costs of a 200-mph HSR in the NEC were sus air mode share was under 50%. When the journey time estimated at $24.3 billion. As is discussed in the following was improved to under the rule-of-thumb value of 3.5 hours, section, the cost of incrementally improving the present the market share increased to 65%. NEC facility to attain the originally defined travel-time objec- When rail journey times between London and Brussels tives has been estimated at about $14 billion. improved by about 0.5 hours, its rail versus air mode share moved up by about 20 percentage points. In the lower right- hand quadrant, early improvement in rail times between 2.3 Rail Services in the Eastern Madrid and Barcelona still resulted in a nearly 5-hour rail Mega-region that Could journey time, the mode share improvement was slight. Since Influence Aviation the publication of the graph, travel time between Madrid Capacity Issues to Barcelona has been improved to about 3 hours, and the 2.3.1 Market Share Impacts of reported rail versus air mode share has risen to about 38% Improved Travel Time (7). Thus, the shift is similar in overall direction and slant to most of the other arrows on the graph. Almost all of the analysis presented for the Western Mega- The present rail-versus-air mode share shown in Figure 2.8 regions concerned the creation of entirely new services, built between Frankfurt and Cologne is so high that it deserves a sep- "from scratch" to gain very significant market share, and low- arate treatment in this chapter (see Section 2.4). The almost ering overall intra-California air passenger volumes by a pos- nonexistent air mode share for this city pair is the result of the sible 10 million passengers per year in 2030. dominant airline at Frankfurt deciding to cease providing air The existing situation on the East Coast is fundamentally service in the corridor and to provide rail service instead. different, as highly successful HSR services already exist for the Because this case is fundamentally different than others shown city pairs of BostonNew York, New YorkWashington, D.C., on the chart, and fundamentally different than what might hap- PhiladelphiaNew York, and PhiladelphiaWashington, D.C. pen in the Northeast, it will be treated separately in this chapter. What happens to competing air market share when exist- ing competing HSR services improve, as would have to be 2.3.2 Existing City-pair Rail Services in the the case in the Northeast? Figure 2.8 was prepared by a East Coast Mega-region British consulting firm, Steer Davies Gleave, for the Euro- pean Commission, and it builds on the simpler chart shown Rail has already played a major part in moderating the in Figure 2.1. aviation flows in the East Coast Mega-region. Figure 2.9, 100% Frankfurt-Cologne 90% 80% Madrid-Seville Rail market share (%) 70% London-Manchester London-Paris Paris-Marseille 60% London-Brussels 50% 40% Rome-Milan 30% 20% London-Edinburgh 10% Madrid-Barcelona 0% 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 Rail journey time Figure 2.8. Changes in market share from changes in travel time (1).

OCR for page 42
43 The rail market shares for Providence, Albany, and Philadel- phia (to and from NYC) show that rail has already established a market dominance in these areas and that most air traffic in these city-pair corridors is for the purpose of connecting flights, not OD travel. This will have significant implications for later analysis for the ability to divert short-distance flights out of New York and Philadelphia airports. 2.3.3 Future Improved City-Pair Rail Services in the East Coast Mega-region As noted earlier, the future form of HSR in the Northeast has yet to be determined. Various policy options have, how- ever, been studied on several occasions and forecasts have been done for a variety of possible futures. This report now presents an analysis of the potential for HSR services from Boston to Washington, D.C., from two separate perspectives. First, an analysis included in the FRA's comprehensive 1997 study (5) is summarized; second, a 2008 study is reported. The first study represents a 1997 vision of the task remaining after completion of the upgraded project as then envisioned. The Note: The absence of a line between two areas means that the number second presents a more up-to-date and more relevant analy- of air trips is insignificant. sis of the need for upgrading first to the earlier 1997 expecta- Figure 2.9. East Coast inter-metropolitan air tion of performance (i.e., 3 hours of travel time between BOS passenger flows (2). and NYC) and then to a faster service (i.e., 2.5 hours). First, the FRA's 1997 study is reviewed, as it allows a com- reproduced from Chapter 1, shows no OD air passenger vol- mon method of comparing various corridor investments umes of significance between Philadelphia and the metro throughout the nation, based on a common methodology and regions to its immediate north or south. Air volumes between set of assumptions. Figure 2.10 is reproduced to show calcu- New York and Boston, and New York and Washington, D.C., lations on travel time and diversions from air and auto. Note show the strong influence of HSR market shares. that the format differs somewhat from what was presented This section of Chapter 2 explores the existing rail volumes earlier in the chapter that concerned the FRA's analysis of HSR in these major city-pair corridors. The market shares have in Northern and Southern California. The first set of policy been calculated by Amtrak and are presented in Table 2.4 as alternatives, which allow for incremental analysis of incre- received. Note that the metro-area pair data derived in Chap- mental improvement to the rail system, is missing from the ter 1 (and reproduced here in Figure 2.9) use a definition of page. This is because, at the time of the study, the decision had "airport families" that is different from Amtrak's definition of already been made to proceed with an aggressive 150-mph immediately competing airports, and the two values should electrified alternative, now generally known as Acela. This not be used interchangeably. (The Boston Airport System, as presents complexities for this analysis, but certain observa- used in Chapter 1, includes BOS, MHT, and PVD together.) tions can be made from the nationwide 1997 study. The FRA study concluded that total passenger miles could increase over the Amtrak system in place in 1993. Compared Table 2.4. Existing city-pair rail market shares in the with an observed 1.3 billion passenger miles in that base case, East Coast Mega-region (8). the analysis predicted that true HSR could attract more than CityPair Corridor Rail Share of Air + Rail Total (%) 3.5 times that volume of passenger miles, in the forecast year BostonNew York 49 of 2020. Figure 2.10 shows that HSR was predicted to divert BostonPhiladelphia 17 more than 4.5 million air trips in the total corridor and less BostonWashington 7 than 1 million auto trips. ProvidenceNew York 90 AlbanyNew York 97 The "New HSR" assumed in the 1997 FRA study had a New YorkPhiladelphia 95 BostonNew York running time of less than 2 hours, com- New YorkWashington 63 pared with the nearly 5 hours in its base case, and roughly PhiladelphiaWashington 89 3.5 hours in 2008.

OCR for page 42
44 of possible improvements over and above the present status quo. The objectives of their review were to "(1) estimate the revenue and congestion relief benefits associated with differ- ent levels of HSR on the NEC and (2) determine whether HSR would pay for itself through increased revenues, congestion relief, or a combination of the two" (9). 2.3.5 Additional Corridor Development in the East Coast Mega-region? First, CRA International estimated the benefits associated with achieving the travel times initially envisioned in the 1976 legislation: 3-hour service between Boston and New York and 2.5-hour service between New York and Washington. Then the consultants estimated the benefits of achieving travel times that are 0.5 hours shorter on both ends: 2.5 hours between Boston and New York and 2 hours between New York and Washington. The results of the analysis are reproduced here, including Figure 2.11, from the Inspector General's report (9): HSR on the NEC would cause a notable share of current air travelers to choose to travel by rail rather than by plane. Roughly 11 percent of air travelers would divert to HSR at scenario 1 travel times. This would provide congestion relief at NEC airports and in NEC airspace. However, less than 1 percent of automobile travelers along the NEC would divert to HSR in scenario 1. This result reflects the greater Figure 2.10. The FRA's 1997 analysis of HSR similarities between air and rail travel than rail and auto- in the East Coast Mega-region (5). mobile travel, particularly with regards to convenience. BenefitsfromHSRwouldgrow at an increasing rate with each 2.3.4 Diversions from High-Speed furtherreductionintraveltime.Scenario2,with its travel time Rail Above and Beyond reduced by an additional 1/2 hour from scenario 1 on both the Present Conditions north and south ends of the NEC, would produce net pres- ent value benefits of $36.0 billion. This is more than double In the summer of 2008, the Office of the Inspector General, those in scenario 1. The research team's evaluation showed within the Office of the Secretary of the DOT, released an that each further 1/2-hour reduction in travel time would gen- updated report that fits the needs of this study in the analysis erate benefits at a greater rate as travel time decreased. Source: OIG analysis. Figure 2.11. Projected diversions from air and auto from completing the Northeast High Speed Rail Project, 2008 (8).

OCR for page 42
45 Empire Corridor and the Southeast Corridor and the East Coast Mega-region East Coast Mega-region In the FRA 1997 study (5), an Empire Corridor project was The FRA 1997 report also examined the extension of examined as an incremental extension of other presumed improved rail from Washington, D.C., as far as Charlotte, investments in the currently defined NEC. The travel time NC. The travel time from D.C. to Charlotte via New HSR was from NYC to Buffalo was calculated at 3.3 hours, with 50 trains calculated at 3 hours, with 52 trains per day. The full corridor per day assumed. The new Empire HSR corridor was expected (i.e., to Charlotte) was expected to attract 32.5 million pas- to attract 32.6 million passengers in the year 2020. The project sengers in 2020. The project would divert about 25% of the was forecast to divert nearly 24% of air travelers and about 3% corridor air travelers and about 3% of auto traffic in the city- of auto traffic in the city-pair corridor. pair corridor. A brief review of the data suggests that Albany is clearly a can- Analysis of the catchment areas (and, to a lesser extent, the didate for an extension of the existing NEC network, and that air-feeder patterns) at the three Mid-Atlantic (BWI, DCA, strong performance to NYC (and its airports) could be attained and IAD) airports resulted in the decision by the research as far west as Syracuse. The sheer distance between NYC and team to include Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News in Buffalo casts doubt on the idea that rail could replace and the description of the East Coast Mega-region, as described or/complement air services at Buffalo. As a result of these obser- in Figure 2.9 (and Figure 1.3 in Chapter 1). vations, Figure 2.9 does include Syracuse in an Upper New York family of airports for inclusion in the East Coast Mega-region Other Rail Investments in the analysis. It does not include Buffalo in that category. East Coast Mega-region? In the summer of 2008, a new study (10) of the potential for the Empire Corridor was released. The study pointed out The FRA 1997 report provides little guidance on exten- that there are essentially two markets for HSR services in the sions of improved rail either to Hartford/Springfield, CT, or Empire Corridor and the possibility of some synergistic con- to Harrisburg, PA, and beyond. From the point of view of nection between the two markets: this study, inclusion of airports in Manchester, NH, and Albany already warrants that the geographic area north and The west corridor, comprising travel between all station pairs west of Boston be included in the definition of the East between Buffalo/Niagara Falls and AlbanyRensselaer; Coast Mega-region. The south corridor, comprising travel between all station The corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and beyond pairs between Albany and NYC (Penn Station); and needs to be considered a major candidate for improved rail to Through, comprising all travel between all stations in the the NEC system; however, its airport traffic was so low that it west corridor and the south corridor. (10). was not specifically included in the analysis presented in Chapter 1, or specifically incorporated into Figure 2.9. The Consistent with the assumptions made by the research team, summary analysis that follows assumes, in a general way, sig- little opportunity exists for additional diversion from the NYC- nificant improvements for higher speed rail services to both to-Albany air market, because the rail/air mode share is so high Hartford/Springfield and to Harrisburg. already. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the distance between NYC and Buffalo may make a realistic alternative to 2.3.6 What Additional Capacity Is Needed air somewhat difficult to accomplish. for Core Services? By the year 2025, an aggressive HSR program is projected to attract more than 2.5 million in the AlbanyNYC corridor, The 1997 FRA studies (5) refer to the potential of a compared with about 750,000 between Albany and Buffalo. threefold--even a fourfold--increase in the volume of rail Those traveling between the "west" corridor and onto the traffic on the existing lines of the NEC, for an analysis year "south" corridor were calculated at 412,000. (In the super- of 2020. speed maglev-like scenario, this number shoots to 2.4 million The concept of a 300% increase in ridership over the exist- passengers.) The authors note the following: ing infrastructure of the NEC is cause for concern. If the NEC infrastructure were devoted only to long-distance rail ser- Because of its speed advantage, air competes effectively with auto vices, life would be simpler. But with NJ Transit, Long Island over the longer distances (greater than 200 to 250 mi) between the Railroad, and, to a lesser extent, Metro North, all sharing the major through markets (for example, Rochester to NYC is 370 mi). tunnels in, out, and through NY Penn Station, the infrastruc- Rail only competes effectively with air in these long distance travel markets when it provides a line haul travel time of two hours or less, ture capacity issue is considerable. With over 2,500 trains and when it also offers a slightly lower fare (which it does in these operating on the NEC each weekday, scheduling systems in phases) to compensate for its longer travel time (10). which local and slower trains need to be overtaken by faster

OCR for page 42
46 trains is a challenge. A track utilization diagram is presented rivers. New York's MTA, through Metro North, will connect as Figure 2.12, which was designed to be interpreted by those the Long Island Railroad into Grand Central Station, using an trained in railroad operations management. The message that existing but presently unused tunnel under the East River. the system is very busy, however, is clear--even to the rail- Turnback tracks for that project will extend southward for road layman. several blocks under Park Avenue. The throughput at major terminals has been identified NJ Transit is proceeding with the planning of the Access by Amtrak as the major constraint on capacity. The research to the Regional Core/Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel proj- team interviewed managers at Amtrak, who emphasized ect, which would provide an additional tunnel under the the need to fundamentally replace NY Penn Station as the Hudson River to an alignment immediately north of the effective center of the NEC network. Capital costs in the existing NY Penn Station. Turnback tracks for that project nature of $2 billion were discussed, with the understanding will extend several blocks east of that station toward Park that engineering work had not progressed at this point. It Avenue. has been repeatedly noted that the so-called Moynihan Ter- The concept of linking the two projects has been raised in minal project, immediately to the west of NY Penn Station, public dialogue. According to project managers, the timing of will improve the quality of pedestrian access and egress such a later project is interrelated with the rebuilding of new to/from the platforms, but not increase the throughput of water/sewer tunnels in the area and must await resolution of the station. those and other issues. At present, both projects are proceed- At this point, a strategy to provide additional capacity for ing as independent, free-standing commuter rail projects. longer distance HSR has not been developed. More capacity Reportedly, the clearances on the new East River tunnel are is being proposed for access to Manhattan over the two major not consistent with HSR requirements. Figure 2.12. Track utilization diagram, New York Penn station to Metropark, Evening Peak (11).

OCR for page 42
47 2.3.7 Summary Scenarios for The research team has created three forecasts for the year Possible Diversion in the 2025 to support the analysis of possible system-wide rail East Coast Mega-region diversions in the East Coast Mega-region. For each "airport family" to every other "airport family" in Figure 2.9, year To what extent might investment in higher quality HSR in 2025 air passenger flows were calculated with (a) a no diver- the East Coast Mega-regions divert future aviation passengers sion to rail scenario, (b) a moderate diversion to rail scenario, away from overcrowded airports? The challenge to answering and (c) an upper-level diversion to rail scenario. The reader this question is based on the fact that there is not a single, should be aware that these three scenarios do not represent agreed-upon "master plan" for investment between New England and Virginia. Section 2.2 in this chapter concluded the result of any system-wide application of a single, consis- that in the next 21 years, an upper limit for diversion from the tent model. Rather, for each pair of airport groups, the exist- California rail network would be on the scale of 10 million ing literature supported by the previous FRA/DOT research passengers per year, with more than a million air diversions to predict diversion to rail from air was reviewed for its rele- in a Los Angeles-Las Vegas system of similar speed. vance and possible applicability. In most cases, a previously As noted in Chapter 1, the East Coast Mega-region of the published diversion factor for a moderate rail scenario and a United States is at present less dependent on short-distance diversion factor for higher quality rail scenario were located. airline trips than are the West Coast Mega-regions. On the In other subcorridors, diversion factors were assumed from basis of BTS statistics (2), a detailed aviation trip table was corridors with similar characteristics (see note for Table 2.5). built for the base year 2007. Using airport-pair expansion fac- Table 2.5 presents the results of the application of these tors developed in the FACT 2 project, airport-to-airport trip three hypothetical diversion scenarios for the analysis year of tables were constructed for the future year, 2025. 2025. (The implications of applying the diversion factors to The airports were then aggregated into regions for the the 2007 base case are also shown on the table.) analysis of air travel within the study area, as shown in Fig- The high diversion scenario for the East Coast Mega-region ure 2.2 for the West Coast Mega-regions and in Figure 2.9 for shows a high-range estimate of about 3.8 million air trips to the East Coast Mega-region. Thus, the analysis of possible rail HSR in the year 2025. This upper level of the range represents diversion has been geographically organized to be consistent about 25% of the total short-distance air trip-making pre- with the air passenger flow maps first presented in Chapter 1. dicted in the mega-region, at about 14.4 million air passenger Table 2.5. Summary of possible high- and low-diversion scenarios in the East Coast mega-region. Air Passengers; Base Case, Air Passengers Diverted to Air Passengers Diverted to Markets and Diversion Rates No Diversion HSR: Low Diversion HSR: High Diversion Corridor Used for Market Diversion Rates* 2007 2025 2007 2025 2007 2025 Adjacent North Partial Empire/NEC 929,540 1,590,703 92,955 159,072 228,121 390,379 D.C. Adjacent North Partial Empire/NEC 116,030 294,356 11,603 29,436 28,475 72,239 PHL Adjacent North Partial Empire/NEC 113,200 194,767 11,320 19,477 27,781 47,798 Adjacent South BostonD.C. NEC 1,814,090 3,212,528 199,550 353,378 489,716 867,227 NYCAlbany/ Full Empire/NEC 339,810 669,774 33,981 66,978 83,394 164,371 Rochester NYCD.C. NEC 1,503,440 3,049,680 165,378 335,465 405,856 823,266 NYCBOS NEC 1,680,870 3,253,951 184,896 357,935 453,753 878,409 NYCAdjacent NEC/Partial SEC 484,520 969,040 49,468 98,935 121,398 242,797 South (Southeast Corridor) PHLBOS NEC 579,390 1,119,553 63,733 123,151 156,407 302,225 NYCHarrisburg Partial Empire/NEC 880 1,935 88 193 216 475 7,561,770 14,356,286 814,979 1,546,045 1,997,125 3,791,210 Definitions: Adjacent North= BDL, ALB, and SYR. Adjacent South= RIC, ORF, and PHF; from Figure 2.9 * Diversion rates were adapted from published data in Reference 5. They were modified further from data published by the DOT (9) and from data published in Reference 10. Each of these three documents was based on forecasting undertaken by CRA International.