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Efficient Access Pricing for Rail Bottlenecks

  • 01
  • Jun
  • 2000
AUTHOR: Eric Beshers
SUBJECT: Program Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Efficient Access Pricing for Rail Bottlenecks
ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken at the request of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), specifically the Office of the Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. The FRA Policy Office asked for a review of some of the key questions surrounding the issue of railroad access prices. “Access price” is to be understood here as the price asked by a railroad that owns a particular segment of track for access to, and use of, that segment of track by some other railroad. The background for this work is public discussion of possible changes in the Staggers Rail Act of 1980. Much of this discussion focuses on the question of access to so-called “bottlenecks.” Some facilities that either originate or receive rail traffic are served by a single railroad, although another railroad is able to carry that traffic for part of its through movement. It is argued that, if that other railroad could obtain access to such a facility, the railroad customer in question would obtain the benefits of enhanced competition: lower prices and/or better service. In order to address the issue of access it is necessary to address the price of access.
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