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Rail Freight Transportation. Author: Dr. Alan Erera. North American Mode Share, 1996. % of total ton-miles. air. water. rail. truck. U.S. Freight Movements, 1996. Railroad Freight Flows. U.S. Freight Railroad Economics. In 1998 ... Market share: 40% of intercity tons

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rail freight transportation

Rail Freight Transportation

Author: Dr. Alan Erera

north american mode share 1996
North American Mode Share, 1996

% of total ton-miles

air

water

rail

truck

u s freight railroad economics
U.S. Freight Railroad Economics

In 1998 ...

  • Market share: 40% of intercity tons
  • Large share markets:
    • 70% of finished automobiles
    • 64% of coal (generating 36% of electricity)
    • 40% of grain (domestic and export)
u s railroad economics ii
U.S. Railroad Economics II
  • Movement statistics
    • Freight volume: 1.38 trillion ton-miles
    • Carload volume: 26 million carloads
      • 8.8 million intermodal trailers and containers
  • Fleet statistics
    • 1.3 million railcars
    • 127 million ton capacity
  • Costs 26% less (57% IA) than 1981
primary commodities
Primary Commodities
  • Rail Only
    • Coal 572 MM tons
    • Farm Products 158
    • Non-metallic minerals 131
    • Petroleum 123
    • Chemicals 118
  • Intermodal
    • Transportation equipment 6.9 MM tons
    • Chemicals, food, lumber, pulp & paper
growth in intermodal11
Growth in Intermodal
  • 17% of revenues
    • second only to coal: 23%
  • COFC 62%, TOFC 38%
  • Why?
    • Labor efficiency
    • Fuel efficiency (50% savings over truck)
    • Door-to-door service
  • Downsides
    • speed, reliability
container land bridge
Container land bridge
  • Asia - Europe market
  • Double-stack N.A. network
  • Why?
    • Hub-and-spoke efficiencies
    • Panama canal costs, queuing delays

Long Beach

Elizabeth

freight railroad classification
Freight Railroad Classification
  • Class One
    • Operating revenue > $250 MM (1991$)
    • 91% of total revenue, 71% of track
    • CSX, NS, UP, BNSF, Kansas City Southern
  • Regionals
    • Revenue $40-250 MM, more than 350 miles
    • Wisconsin Central, Bangor & Aroostook, Alaska
  • Local/Short Lines
slide15
CSX
  • Miles: 23,000
  • Carloads: 5.1 MM
  • Locos: 4,000
  • Railcars: 100,000
  • Revenues: $5.6 B
    • coal: $1.6 B
    • chem: $0.91 B
    • auto: $0.76 B
norfolk southern
Norfolk Southern
  • Miles: 21,800
  • Carloads: 5.1 MM
  • Locos: 3,500
  • Railcars: 117,000
  • Revenues: $5.2 B
    • coal: $1.3 B
    • intermodal: $0.83 B
    • auto: $0.73 B
    • chem: $0.73 B
union pacific
Union Pacific
  • Miles: 38,600
  • Carloads: 8.5 MM
  • Locos: 6,847
  • Railcars: 157,000
  • Revenues: $10.2 B
    • coal: $2.2 B
    • intermodal: $1.7 B
    • chem: $1.6 B
    • auto: $1.0 B
slide18
BNSF
  • Miles: 33,500
  • Locos: 5,000
  • Railcars: 90,000
  • Revenues: $9.1 B
    • carload: $2.6 B
    • intermodal: $2.5 B
    • coal: $2.2 B
    • agri: $1.3 B
kansas city southern
Kansas City Southern
  • Miles: 6,400
  • NAFTA railroad
    • Gateway Western
    • KCS
    • TexMex
    • TFM
    • Panama Canal RR
canadian national
Canadian National
  • Miles: 16,000
  • Carloads: 3.5 MM
  • Locos: 5,000
  • Railcars: 90,000
  • Revenues: $5.1 B
    • grain: $1.0 B
    • forest: $0.97 B
    • chem: $0.84 B
    • intermodal: $0.80 B
locomotive equipment
Locomotive Equipment
  • They are mobile power plants
    • Diesel generators
    • DC and AC traction motors
  • Road vs. switching
  • Multiple units
    • consist
    • DPUs and helpers for heavy trains, grades
up road locomotive
UP Road Locomotive
  • AC traction (6000 HP)
yard switcher
Yard switcher
  • Often “retired” road locomotives
  • Low HP (1500)
boxcars
Boxcars
  • Weather-protection
  • Insulation, refrigeration, cushioning
  • Auto parts, building materials, food products, bagged products
automobile racks autoracks
Automobile Racks (autoracks)
  • Bi-level or tri-level
  • Damage/vandalism protection
  • Finished autos, trucks, vans, minivans
load unload operations autoracks
Load/unload operations: autoracks
  • a type of “roll-on, roll-off” system
open hoppers
Open hoppers
  • Hopper openings or rotary couplers
  • Coal, coke, stone, sand, ores, gravel
covered hoppers
Covered hoppers
  • load: round or trough hatch
  • unload: hoppers (gravity, airslide)
  • grains, corn, soybeans, flour, salt, sugar, clay, phosphates, cement, fertilizers, plastics
tank cars
Tank cars
  • Private (non-railroad) fleets
  • Chemicals, molasses, water, diesel fuel
gondolas
Gondolas
  • Open or covered
  • Scrap metal, aggregates, woodchips, logs, poles, steel beams, steel coils
slide36
TOFC
  • Trailer-on-flatcar
  • Highway trailers
    • LTL trucking growth in intermodal
slide38
COFC
  • Container-on-flatcar
  • ocean shipping containers, trucking containers
double stack cofc 1979
Double-stack COFC (1979)
  • Articulated cars
  • Clearances
    • bridge/tunnel investments
intermodal flatcar types
Intermodal flatcar types
  • Two-hitch flatcar
    • two trailers, each up to 40 ft length
  • Articulated well flatcar
    • containers sit low for double-stacking
    • articulation: no conflict with rail wheels (trucks)
    • 3 to 5 permanently joined units
  • Roadrailer
    • truck trailers mounted on railroad wheel assemblies
eot device
EOT Device
  • End-of-train device
  • Caboose replacement
    • warns following trains
  • Crew size reduction
    • brakemen, fireman gone
    • 2-4 person crews
    • labor cost reduction
rail shipping
Rail shipping
  • Shipment types
    • Unit train (bulk commodities)
    • Carload (FCL)
    • Less-than-carload (LCL)
  • Train types
    • Unit train (through service)
    • Hot shot (intermodal; expedited service)
    • Bulk train (single bulk commodity)
    • Manifest (mixed freight)
unit train routing
Unit train routing
  • Direct, through trains
    • From shipper to consignee
  • Coal train example
    • Powder River Basin, WY to Dallas area power plant
  • Petrochemical example
    • Elizabeth, NJ refinery to Houston processing plant
    • Interline
intermodal train routing
Intermodal train routing
  • Expedited service
    • But, set-outs or pick-ups at consolidation points
  • Load/unload intermodal yards
    • Portside (e.g. Long Beach)
    • Port adjacent (e.g. Oakland)
    • Inland
  • Enroute yards
    • “hubs”
    • cross-towns (rubber tire transfers)
manifest mixed freight train routing
Manifest (mixed freight) train routing
  • Load/unload facilities
    • Shipper sidings, public facilities (e.g. grain elevators)
    • Switching service to terminal railyard
  • Hump yards
    • Classification
      • sorting by destination
    • Receiving, bowl, departing
    • Hub-and-spoke concept
us deregulation staggers 1980
US Deregulation: Staggers (1980)
  • Market-driven pricing
    • only for route/services with competition
  • Confidential service agreements, rates
  • Abandonment and sale streamlined
  • Impact
    • Costs down: 57% from 1981 to 1998
    • Return on net investment: from 2 to 7%
    • Consolidation
    • Regionals and shortlines: 50,000 miles
railroad misconceptions
Railroad misconceptions
  • Not technologically advanced …
    • $247 billion investment since 1980
    • Advanced signaling, communication, control
  • Rolling stock outdated …
    • 7,500 new locomotives since 1990 (37.5%)
    • Freight cars lighter, stronger, more reliable
freight railroads no subsidies
Freight railroads: no subsidies!
  • Track privately-owned and operated
    • construction and maintenance
  • Amtrak
    • pays “usage fees” to freight railroads
  • Trucking uses public infrastructure
    • C&M funding via $0.55/gallon fuel tax but …
    • Estimate: covers only 2/3 of costs