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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 l.jpg

Rail Freight Transportation

Author: Dr. Alan Erera


North american mode share 1996 l.jpg
North American Mode Share, 1996

% of total ton-miles

air

water

rail

truck




U s freight railroad economics l.jpg
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)


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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



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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




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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


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Container land bridge

  • Asia - Europe market

  • Double-stack N.A. network

  • Why?

    • Hub-and-spoke efficiencies

    • Panama canal costs, queuing delays

Long Beach

Elizabeth



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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Kansas City Southern

  • Miles: 6,400

  • NAFTA railroad

    • Gateway Western

    • KCS

    • TexMex

    • TFM

    • Panama Canal RR


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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


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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



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UP Road Locomotive

  • AC traction (6000 HP)



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Yard switcher

  • Often “retired” road locomotives

  • Low HP (1500)


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Boxcars

  • Weather-protection

  • Insulation, refrigeration, cushioning

  • Auto parts, building materials, food products, bagged products


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Automobile Racks (autoracks)

  • Bi-level or tri-level

  • Damage/vandalism protection

  • Finished autos, trucks, vans, minivans


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Load/unload operations: autoracks

  • a type of “roll-on, roll-off” system


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Open hoppers

  • Hopper openings or rotary couplers

  • Coal, coke, stone, sand, ores, gravel




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Covered hoppers

  • load: round or trough hatch

  • unload: hoppers (gravity, airslide)

  • grains, corn, soybeans, flour, salt, sugar, clay, phosphates, cement, fertilizers, plastics


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Tank cars

  • Private (non-railroad) fleets

  • Chemicals, molasses, water, diesel fuel


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Gondolas

  • Open or covered

  • Scrap metal, aggregates, woodchips, logs, poles, steel beams, steel coils



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TOFC

  • Trailer-on-flatcar

  • Highway trailers

    • LTL trucking growth in intermodal



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COFC

  • Container-on-flatcar

  • ocean shipping containers, trucking containers


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Double-stack COFC (1979)

  • Articulated cars

  • Clearances

    • bridge/tunnel investments



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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


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EOT Device

  • End-of-train device

  • Caboose replacement

    • warns following trains

  • Crew size reduction

    • brakemen, fireman gone

    • 2-4 person crews

    • labor cost reduction


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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)


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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


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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)


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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



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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



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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



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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