Joint Operation of Light Rail Transit or Diesel Multiple Unit Vehicles with Railroads

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - rolling stock, infrastructure - vehicle, organisation - regulation, place - europe, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail


Decision making, Diesel multiple unit cars, Europe, Infrastructure, Joint use, Light rail transit, Railroad vehicle operations, Railroads, Regulations, Risk analysis, Rolling stock, Transit vehicle operations


This report will be of interest to transit managers, planning and operations professionals, policy makers, and others interested in the potential for joint operation of light rail transit (LRT) or lightweight diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles with freight and/or passenger railroads. For the purposes of this report, joint operation is defined as co-mingled, simultaneous train operation on shared track by railroad trains (freight and/or passenger) and rail transit vehicles that are not fully compliant with current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations. The report identifies and discusses issues associated with such joint operation, focusing on the current regulatory and institutional environment, railroad and rail transit operations, infrastructure, and rolling stock. In addition, substantial information concerning joint operation overseas is presented and discussed. A risk analysis guide is also provided to assist decision makers in assessing the appropriateness of applying joint operation to particular circumstances. The report concludes that there is sufficient evidence that joint operation can be applied in the North American environment on a case-by-case basis, conditioned on satisfactory risk analyses accompanied by appropriate safeguards.


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