Title

ECONOMICS OF COMMUTER RAIL ALTERNATIVES: COMPARATIVE COST PERSPECTIVE

Authors

S RICHARDSON

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

infrastructure - rolling stock, infrastructure - vehicle, mode - rail, mode - bike

Keywords

Transportation economics, Transport economics, Trade off analysis, Rolling stock, Railroad commuter service, Locomotives, Life cycle costing, Economics, Diesel multiple unit vehicles, Cost benefit analysis, Comparison studies, Commuter rail, Benefit cost analysis, Alternatives analysis

Abstract

In the North American commuter rail environment, authorities planning to commence or expand service have several rolling stock options to evaluate. In the nonelectrified mixed-traffic operating environments that are prevalent outside the northeastern United States, locomotive-hauled vehicles--diesel-electric locomotives with head-end power units used in push-pull operation with single- or multiple-level coaches--have traditionally been the equipment of choice. With the imminent reemergence of a diesel multiple unit vehicle compliant with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) standards for mixed traffic operation, the available equipment options have expanded. Authorities must be provided with the required information to evaluate and compare the costs and benefits of this newly available option. The true direct costs (excluding track access fees and insurance; justification for the exclusion of these issues is included) associated with the life cycle of rail vehicles are evaluated to provide transit authorities with the information required to make informed procurement decisions.