Technical Reports

Higher Speed Freight Truck Market Analysis

  • 05
  • Jul
  • 2013
AUTHOR: Sharma & Associates, Inc.
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-13/32
KEYWORDS: Average freight train speed, economic analysis, breakeven analysis, high speed freight truck, high-speed passenger trains, highway truck, market analysis, intermodal traffic, operating railroads’ perspective, premium revenue rail network
ABSTRACT: A market analysis was conducted on behalf of FRA to determine the viability for implementation of higher speed freight rail service in anticipation of high-speed passenger rail service on upgraded freight rail corridors. The analysis focused on the potential need for higher speed freight service in planned higher speed passenger rail corridors and other channels. The market analysis revealed additional unforeseen revenue potential for freight railroads in the form of dedicated train sets like refrigerator car trains, long distance produce shipments, and overnight city pairs, among others. The potential additional rail revenue from higher speed freight that has been identified for freight railroads could exceed $4.6 billion annually. It is projected that that amount would add approximately $460 million to the freight railroads’ annual profit stream. Additionally, there is at least some percentage of another potential $28 billion annual market in long distance road transportation that could be converted to rail, if it included higher speed freight service.

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