Estimating rail cost for mutlimodal corridor planning
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This study evaluates specific variables that influence rail freight operating costs for line haul movements. This paper gives planners a mechanistic method to determine rail costs on a single corridor while analyzing the effects of different variables on the overall operating costs. Planners evaluating the benefits of rail operations face two problems; what is the route alignment and what rail costs are derived for this alignment? This paper also reports on a promising method to measure track alignment—specifically grades – which obviates the need to work with railroad companies to determine track alignments for preliminary multimodal analysis. Complete rail freight transportation assessment can be determined from the proposed two methods, allowing more accurate planning to be done in the area of freight movement.