Cover Image

Not for Sale



View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 6


The National Academies | 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 5
Introduction, Background, and Purpose 5 low-sulfur coal for electricity generation, among other factors, have led to significant and contin- uing growth in rail freight traffic. The privately owned freight railroads have been investing heav- ily to meet this demand, but at least before the traffic downturn of 20082009, local capacity and other operating problems were emerging, especially around major terminal and interchange areas. Although advocated by some, building new rights-of-way for passenger rail service is not a realistic option in most cases. With few exceptions, anticipated patronage and revenue and avail- able capital funds simply cannot support the investment required. This situation leaves shared use on mixed passenger and freight corridors as the only practical option for most new or expanded passenger rail services, in spite of the challenges of growing passenger service on cor- ridors shared with heavy North Americanstyle freight operations. Past and anticipated future freight traffic growth means that passenger-rail interests face increasingly difficult negotiations and higher costs for access to freight lines for new and expanded service. In addition, the quality of existing services can deteriorate due to rail traffic congestion, and old agreements may have to be renegotiated to ensure adequate service. Even for Amtrak- operated intercity services where Amtrak has a statutory right of access and dispatching prior- ity, good service requires the cooperation of the owning freight railroad and sometimes funding to overcome operating bottlenecks. 1.3 Scope, Purpose, and Content 1.3.1 Scope This Guidebook addresses principles, processes, and methods for the implementation and operation of rail passenger services on rail corridors that are shared by passenger and freight ser- vices and that are part of the General Railroad System of Transportation in the United States. The owner of the corridor is normally known as the host railroad, and other rail services oper- ating over the corridor are known as tenant railroads. Normally the host railroad is also respon- sible for day-to-day operation of the corridor (e.g., dispatching and track maintenance), but, in a number of cases, host railroads have contracted or delegated operating responsibilities to another party. Most railroad corridors in the United States are private facilities, and tenant rail services must negotiate an access agreement with the host railroad that specifies access terms and payments. Multiple sharing scenarios exist; the passenger operation may be either the host or the tenant, and sharing configurations can vary--they may be between a passenger and a freight rail- road, two passenger services, or three services as where freight, Amtrak intercity, and a commuter service operate over the same corridor. Some examples of sharing scenarios include: Where a freight railroad is host to commuter or Amtrak intercity passenger service, or both, on the same corridor. This arrangement is one of the most common and is the principal focus of this Guidebook. Most of Amtrak corridor and long-distance services outside the Northeast are operated on host freight railroads. Where a passenger rail agency acquires a corridor for passenger rail service and gives track rights to a freight railroad to allow continuing (usually local) freight service. Arrangements of this type exist on almost all corridors purchased by a public authority for (primarily com- muter) rail passenger service. Shared intercity and commuter rail operations on infrastructure owned and/or operated by Amtrak or the commuter rail agency. The NEC and connecting lines include examples of both Amtrak and commuter-owned or -operated infrastructure, and situations where Amtrak is responsible for operating infrastructure owned by a commuter rail agency. For example, Amtrak operates the portion of the NEC owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and hosts contractor-operated MBTA commuter services.