Rail to truck modal shift: impact of increased freight traffic on pavement maintenance costs
Williams, R. Christopher
Midwest Regional University Transportation Center
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The loss of rail network infrastructure and rail service throughout the U.S. has in most instances resulted in the modal shift of rail freight to truck. Rail freight converted to truck may have significant impact on pavement maintenance costs and activities due to the increased highway traffic volumes. This study investigated three short-line rail routes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and determined the potential impact of diverting rail freight flows to truck. A freight flow analysis was undertaken to illustrate the new truck flows by highway classification and usage. The highway route current conditions and asset management techniques were documented. A pavement maintenance model was created to determine the incremental maintenance costs per ton-mile if additional freight moved over various classes of highway and the resulting impact on highway funding.
Short line railroads