Technical Reports

High Speed Passenger Trains in Freight Railroad Corridors: Operations and Safety Considerations

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 1994
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Transportation; safety; high-speed rail; rail operations; safety and
ABSTRACT: This report presents the results of a study into some operations and technical issues likely to be encountered when planning for high-speed rail passenger service on corridors that presently carry freight or commuter traffic. The study starts with a review of corridors designated under Section 1010 of the lntermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, as potential future high-speed corridors. The review summarized operations and infrastructure features of the corridors, leading to definition of a hypothetical corridor representative of the Section 101 0 corridors. After a review of signal, train control and braking systems presently used in the United States and elsewhere, the study provides analyses of the safety and operations impacts of introducing high-speed rail service on the hypothetical corridor. The safety analysis established a safety performance target based on present intercity rail safety performance, and reviewed the need for and benefits from safety improvements for high speed operation. The operations analysis concentrated on the impacts on track capacity and train delays of introducing a high-speed rail service on three hypothetical existing corridors with different track layouts and signal systems.