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Economics of Increased Axle Loads: FAST/HAL Phase II Results

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1996
AUTHOR: M. B. Hargrove, T. S. Guins, D. E. Otter, S. Clark, C. D. Martland
OFFICE: RPD
SUBJECT: Facilities & Test Equipment
KEYWORDS: Cost Savings, Economic Analysis, Railroad Technology
ABSTRACT: Based upon the cases analyzed to date, the use of heavier cars, with attendant increased axle loads, may be a viable tool for achieving significant total savings in cost for specific rail operations. The potential net benefits for operations with 286,000 gross vehicle weight (GVW) cars are in the range of 2 to 6 percent. For 315,000 GVW vehicles, the net benefit is in the range of -1 to 1.3 percent; no significant improvement from 263,000 GVW operations. Overall the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing and heavy axle load (HAL) research and subsequent economic evaluations performed through the end of Phase II confirm the basic conclusions and recommendations reached at the end of Phase I. The economic results are highly route and service specific. Thus, individual railroads should analyze their particular service alternatives.
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