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OCR for page 50
50 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors Factors (EAFs) to apply to a base cost estimate as a function of traffic type and track characteris- tics to obtain a cost estimate for a specific traffic mix. This model is particularly useful for calcu- lating a logical division of costs when a passenger tenant requires a higher track quality than the host freight railroad. Because the model is too complex to simply incorporate into a cost-sharing contract, the usual process is to use the analysis to estimate a per-car-mile or per-train-mile charge for the planned service and incorporate the result into the agreement. Track Inspection. Both FRA regulations and industry practice require regular track inspections for defects. The presence of passenger service may or may not trigger a change in inspection practice depending on specific traffic levels and speeds. If a change in practice is required, then the additional cost would be allocated to the passenger expense. Otherwise, costs would be shared among the services in a fully allocated approach, most logically as a function of ton-miles adjusted by EAFs. Other Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance. This area covers bridges and structures as well as signal and train control equipment. Most of these expenses are only weakly dependent on traffic level and type, and cost allocation is somewhat arbitrary. An allocation based on adjusted ton-miles for structures and train-miles for signal and train control systems would be logical. Some passenger services may require improved signal and train control systems to permit increased speeds or to add capacity. If this is the case, all or part of the additional cost of inspecting and maintaining the improved systems over the original installation would be the responsibility of the passenger operator. For example a passenger operator and host railroad may fund a conversion of automatic block signaling to centralized traffic control and add pow- ered switches at passing sidings. Because the improvements benefit both freight and passenger service, both host and tenant would share additional inspection and maintenance costs, if any. General and Administrative Expenses. In most cases, there is no specific cause-and-effect relationship between selected G&A expenses and the level and mix of train operations. The only exception is where staff are specifically dedicated to the passenger affairs. Otherwise, the allocation may be determined in proportion to train-miles or represented as a percentage or fee on other passenger-related expenses, or, in some cases, the parties may agree to a fixed annual fee. 3.4.5 Application to Intercity and Commuter Operations The foregoing discussion summarizes the technical issues involved in cost sharing. The man- ner in which these technical issues are brought into negotiations between the passenger rail agency and a host freight railroad depends on the details of each service, as summarized in the follow- ing paragraphs. Amtrak Intercity Service with No Service-Specific Infrastructure Investments Amtrak compensates host freight railroads for intercity passenger operations on an avoidable- cost basis. Agreements for a new or expanded service will be based on existing Amtrak operat- ing agreements with mutually agreed-upon variations to reflect specific local circumstances. Disputes can be resolved by the NAP or by the STB, which has the power to impose a decision on Amtrak and the host railroad. Amtrak Intercity Service where a State Passenger Rail Agency Has Funded Added Rail Corridor Capacity or Upgraded Infrastructure Amtrak will negotiate a track-use fee agreement with the host railroad for the specific service with the host railroad, proposing fees based on previous experience in comparable situations, and taking into account the passenger agency's investment, track class, and added signal and train con- trol equipment. The parties are free to support their position with technical analyses, but there is no requirement for such analysis. If Amtrak and the host railroad cannot agree, then they can

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Analysis and Modeling 51 appeal to the STB, supporting their position as they see fit. The state or regional passenger rail agency must work with Amtrak and may choose to directly fund a track maintenance gang or a dedicated dispatcher to ensure service quality. Commuter Operations Hosted by a Freight Railroad The commuter rail agency will have to compensate the freight railroad for all or most fully allo- cated costs. The details of individual agreements are highly variable and will reflect local circum- stances, especially track and signal system improvements funded by the commuter rail agency. Many of the sharing approaches mentioned previously regarding individual O&M expense items and technical cost analysis may be reflected in the resulting agreement. However, it is essential that the final agreement is simple to administer, such as a formula that uses easily determined operations metrics, such as car- and locomotive-miles and train-miles.