Shared Use of Railroad Infrastructure with Noncompliant Public Transit Rail Vehicles: A Practitioner's Guide

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, infrastructure - vehicle, organisation - management, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail


barriers to implementation, business models, case studies, freight trains, light rail vehicles, railroad tracks, risk management, shared tracks, shared use, technological innovations


Guide includes a business case for the shared use of non-Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-compliant public transit rail vehicles (e.g., light rail vehicles) with freight operations and offers a suggested business model for such shared-use operations. The Guide also identifies the advantages and disadvantages of shared-use operations and the issues and barriers that can arise in the course of implementation. The Guide includes a section that identifies and evaluates available and emerging technology, operating procedures, and techniques that could be used to minimize the risks associated with sharing of track between non-FRA-compliant public transit rail vehicles and freight railroad operations. Finally, the Guide includes descriptions and sources of real-world examples of these applications. This Guide will be helpful to transit managers, transit operations planners, transportation consultants, state safety oversight agencies, and federal rail and transit oversight agencies.


Permission to link to this report has been given by TRB.