Technical Reports

Safety of High-Speed Guided Ground Transportation Systems: Shared Right-of-Way Safety Issues

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1992
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; J. Hadden; D. Kerr; W. Lewalski; C. Ball
SUBJECT: Safety Advisories, Safety Regulatory Analysis, Safety Performance Measures
KEYWORDS: High speed rail, Magnetic levitation, Maglev, Shared right of way, Risk assessment
ABSTRACT: One of the most important issues in the debate over the viability in the United States of high-speed guided ground transportation (HSGGT) systems, which include magnetic levitation and high-speed rail, is the feasibility of using existing right-of-ways. A major potential benefit of shared ROWs would be the substantial amount of time and money saved by minimizing the acquisition of new real estate. In fact, the ROW issue may be the most critical factor for assessing the cost-effectiveness of HSGGT. A methodology for assessing the safety risks associated with shared ROWs for high-speed guided ground transportation has been developed and applied. The first task in assessing the safety of shared ROWs involved characterizing a baseline HSGGT system. Features of existing HSGGT corridors, as well as those of other potential ROW users, were considered in defining a baseline system for the study. The primary safety issues associated with shared ROWs were then evaluated for the baseline system. The baseline system defined for this study is a 645 km (400 mile) long, 7 million passengers/year HSGGT network, of which as much as 50 percent could be shared ROW with any single other user (roadways, railroads, waterways, pipelines, or transmission lines).