Technical Reports

Cost-Effectiveness Review of Railroad Electrification

  • 25
  • Apr
  • 1973
AUTHOR: Allan H. Muir, H. Theodore Heintz, Kurt Hecht
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA-RT-73-31
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Cost Analysis, Traffic Density, Tractive Propulsion Systems
ABSTRACT: A comparison was made between the costs of electric and diesel-electric motive power to haul traffic projected for the 1975-2005 time period over a hypothetical network of high density mainline routes carrying about 50 percent of the 1975 traffic. The routes were selected from the Federal Railroad Administration Base Rail Network. Input data on prices, operating conditions, and route profiles represented averages for four regions of the United States rather than the specific conditions of actual routes. The cost estimates focused primarily on social resource costs from the perspective of national economic efficiency. Sensitivity tests were performed to determine the impact of a variety of assumptions and data values on the comparative costs of the two systems. It was concluded that electrification offers 9 percent savings in discounted costs for about 30 percent of the routes examined covering about 43 percent of the route miles in the hypothetical network.
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