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Book Cover
Author Weatherford, Brian A

Title The state of U.S. railroads : a review of capacity and performance data / Brian A. Weatherford, Henry H. Willis, David S. Ortiz
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND Corp., 2008
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Description 1 online resource (xv, 48 pages)
Contents Cover; Preface; Contents; Figures; Tables; Summary; Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Chapter One- Introduction; Freight Transportation: An Engine for Economic Growth; The Pressures of Increased Demand for Transportation; Concerns About Rail Infrastructure; The Public Costs of Private Logistics Decisions; Content of This Report; Chapter Two- Capacity; Capacity: Industry Structure; Capacity: Infrastructure; Capacity: Motive Power; Capacity: Operating Strategies; Capacity: Crews; Capacity Summary; Chapter Three- Performance; Average Speed; Reliability; Prices; Productivity; Resilience
Chapter Four- Observations and RecommendationsReferences
Summary The volume of freight transported in the United States is expected to double in the next 30 years. An increased use of rail freight could allow the supply chain to accommodate these increased volumes while minimizing highway congestion and improving energy efficiency in the transportation sector. Shippers and policymakers are concerned that the existing infrastructure--much diminished after decades of track abandonment--lacks sufficient capacity to accommodate the increased demand for rail freight. This report draws from publicly available data on the U.S. railroad industry to provide observations about rail infrastructure capacity and performance in freight transportation. Railroads have improved their productivity in the past three decades, mitigating immediate concerns about capacity, but concerns about future capacity constraints appear to be justified. Insufficient data exist to determine whether rail performance is now stable, significantly declining, or improving. The railroad system is privately owned and operated, but there is a public role for easing rail capacity constraints because private decisions about transportation investment and freight shipping have public consequences for safety and the environment. A better understanding of the public and private cost trade-offs between shipping freight by truck and by rail is needed. Improvements to data quality and freight-modeling tools will improve the ability for policymakers to better target public investment in the rail freight transportation system
Notes Performed by RAND Supply Chain Policy Center of the RAND Transportation, Space, and Technology Program for UPS Foundation
Text document in PDF format
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-48)
Notes Technical report
Print version record
Subject Infrastructure (Economics) -- United States -- Evaluation.
Railroads -- Freight -- United States -- Evaluation.
Genre/Form Technical reports.
Form Electronic book
Author Ortiz, David S
Willis, Henry H.
Rand Corporation.
Rand Supply Chain Policy Center.
UPS Foundation
ISBN 0833046357 (electronic bk.)
9780833046352 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles State of United States railroads