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15 2.3.4 Examples of Low-Cost their connections to rail and highway transportation modes Rail Improvements and system. MTS includes 361 public and private deepwater and intercoastal waterway ports and over 24,000 miles of The following are some examples of improvements that inland and coastal navigable waterways (28). There are about could be classified as low-cost and quickly implementable and 70 deep-draft port areas along the U.S. coasts (31). Within that have positive impacts on freight mobility. Even though these ports there are about 2,000 major terminals that are these projects are not specifically classified as such, the cost, in mostly privately owned and operated (32). While deep sea relative terms, and the period of implementation would sat- routes are the primary means of moving international freight, isfy the requirements of such a definition. the rivers, coastal, and Great Lakes waterways are equally important means of moving domestic freight and for provid- Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Effi- ing outbound feeder traffic for international shipping (33). ciency Program (CREATE) Project EW-4: BRC/NS Signal Upgrade--This project involved upgrading the Belt Rail- way Company of Chicago (BRC) and Norfolk Southern 2.4.2 System Capacity (NS) signal systems to power switches and signals along a Knatz (34) noted that port capacity has two important dimen- segment of track. The result of this improvement is that sions: the short-term capability to respond to interruptions average train speeds increased from 10 to 20 miles per in the supply chain and the ultimate capacity to handle the hour. The bottleneck at this location is now significantly nation's long-range forecasts of trade. GAO (35) also observed alleviated as this segment can handle twice the number of that the U.S. maritime freight transportation system primarily trains, an increase from 23 to 46 freight trains per day (29). consists of waterways, ports, the intermodal connections (i.e., Improve Passing Siding: West Durban, North Carolina-- inland rail and roadways) that permit freight to reach maritime Upgraded and extended the passing siding track in West facilities, and the vessels and the vehicles that move cargo within Durban from 6,500 feet to more than 9,000 feet. Realigned the system. The marine infrastructure is owned and operated track to straighten curve to increase speed from 45 mph to by an aggregation of state and local agencies and private com- 65 mph and accommodate two tracks. Constructed a total panies with some Federal funding. International freight is an of 12,500 feet of new track. The existing track became the important aspect of the U.S. economy. The U.S. surface and new siding. No. 20 turnouts were installed to allow all trains maritime transportation systems facilitate mobility through to travel faster through the siding. The cost was $3.6 mil- an extensive network of infrastructure and operators as well as lion. Extending the siding improved capacity and reliability through the vehicles and vessels that permit passengers and of service and saved 30 seconds of travel time per train (30). freight to move within the systems. Install Traffic Control System, North Carolina--A new The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) (28) noted centralized train traffic control system was installed between that as larger ships put increased pressure on ports, greater Greensboro and Cary, North Carolina, to automate train container volumes and customer expectations would require dispatching, improve rail capacity, and increase train speeds an effective, efficient, and integrated total transportation sys- from 59 mph to 79 mph. Cost was $8 million. The result is tem. For inland waterways, there is sufficient capacity, although improved traffic flow and reliability allowing trains to oper- congestion is increasing at small, aging, and increasingly unre- ate at a maximum speed of 79 mph saving 5 minutes of liable locks. travel time per train (30). Port terminals function as nodal points within MTS with the basic function of transferring and storing freight. Le-Griffin and Murphy (36) noted that as the demand for international 2.4 Water Ports and trade and global logistic services continues to increase, port Inland Waterways capacity can be expanded by improving productivity and This section presents a synthesis of published information operational efficiency of terminal facilities. on freight mobility issues regarding freight transportation through the sea ports, inland waterways, Great Lakes, and 2.4.3 Performance Indicators intercoastal waterways. Ports are dissimilar and even within a single port the current or potential activities can be broad in scope and nature, so that 2.4.1 Marine Transportation System the choice of measure of performance can be difficult. There is The marine transportation system (MTS) is defined to no acceptable standard method of measuring performance that include interrelated components of the national transporta- is applicable to every port (37). Inconsistencies in performance tion system, such as shipping, ports, inland waterways, and data make it difficult to compare operational efficiencies of U.S.