Title

ALLOCATING TRACK MAINTENANCE COSTS ON SHARED RAIL FACILITIES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - track, economics - operating costs, place - europe, mode - rail

Keywords

Train operations, Train handling, TrackShare (Computer model), Tracks, Railroad tracks, Railroad facilities, Ownership, Operating costs, Maintenance and repair, Maintenance, Goods movement, Freight traffic, Fees, European Union, Costs, Cost sharing, Cost of operation, Cost allocation, Amtrak, Access

Abstract

Railroads were originally conceived as public highways on which anyone might operate. This idea rapidly demonstrated its impracticality, and for many years railroads in most of the world have controlled both infrastructure and operations. However, the European Union is moving toward an open access model for railroads in which track ownership (and related functions, such as train dispatching) is required to be separate from train operations. Separate ownership and operations will require some method for establishing access charges. The fundamental issue is how costs are to be shared among multiple users of a single rail line. At the simplest level, costs can be assigned based on the volume of traffic. But what measure should be used--gross tonnage, train hours, or number of trains? TrackShare is a cost-allocation model that has been developed to meet this need. The process of applying TrackShare to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation's (Amtrak's) Northeast Corridor to determine the cost of operating rail freight traffic is described.