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OCR for page 49
Analysis and Modeling 49 return on the capital investment in rail corridor capacity used by a passenger service, if the pas- senger agency has not used one of the alternative methods of paying for the capital cost of capac- ity as discussed is Section 3.3.1. Essentially, the freight railroad treats the passenger agency as it would a freight customer. A railroad may also agree to a hybrid approach where a share of some, but not all, fixed and overhead costs are allocated to the passenger operation, but this scenario is likely only if the agreement is part of a broader agreement that includes some other benefit for the freight railroad. Fully allocated costing is most commonly used for commuter service over freight railroad tracks, where Amtrak access rights do not apply. The primary issue is establishing a full cost allo- cation method that is logical and acceptable to both parties. Establishing such a method can be straightforward where two freight railroads share the same tracks, because the types and quality of service required by host and tenant are the same. A freight railroadtofreight railroad track- age rights agreement will typically apportion costs in proportion to car-miles operated over the shared territory. Where the tenant is a passenger service, arriving at a fair and logical cost division is more challenging, both at the technical level in deciding how costs are influenced by the pres- ence of passenger service and in reaching a mutually acceptable formula in access negotiations. 3.4.4 Operations and Maintenance Cost Analysis This section addresses two interlocking areas: the technical basis for determining the share of each cost category allocated to each service and the approaches used to incorporate technical understanding into shared track agreements for intercity and commuter services. This section is not intended to cover the specific cost allocations used for Amtrak avoidable-cost agreements based on the Amtrak statute and STC decisions, but rather to describe the technical and logical factors that drive costs on a shared corridor. Relevant cost categories include: Dispatching. Dispatcher workload is driven by the number of track miles in the dispatcher's territory, train-miles operated, and the complexity of operations. Adding passenger trains on a freight corridor is likely to add to dispatching complexity, given speed differences and sta- tion stops, adding workload. A logical approach for dispatching costs might be to allocate according to train-miles with an additional weighting for passenger trains. In some cases, a passenger operator has agreed to fund an additional dispatcher position so that passenger ser- vice can receive more focused attention, potentially reducing delays. Alternatively the passen- ger rail agency may fund a coordinator as a liaison between the host railroad and the passenger operator and agency, to help manage passenger service performance. Electric Power. Because there are no current electrified freight operations in the United States, this is an issue that arises when two electric passenger operations share tracks, as in the NEC. Because it is not easy to meter power at the point of use on each train, the best approach may be to estimate per-mile power consumption as a function of train size (number of cars) and type of service, using the results of TPC analysis and electric power prices to establish and cal- ibrate a per-train-mile charge. Track Maintenance. This area is the most complex for cost allocation, because track degra- dation under different traffic types is difficult to quantify. The most comprehensive studies on this issue have been by Zeta-Tech, who developed the TrackShare model, described in papers and presentations for the Transportation Research Board and in a report prepared for the FRA (Zeta-Tech 2004). This method had been used in a number of settings, including cost estimat- ing for the proposed Midwest network, cost allocations between users of the NEC, and cost allocation for Amtrak service on freight railroads. Zeta-Tech takes a fundamental engineering approach, calculating the cost of wear and degradation of track and track components as a func- tion of loads on the track. These costs are a function of axleload, speed, and track characteris- tics such as FRA track class, grade, and curvature. The model yields Engineering Adjustment