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Rail-Truck Diversion Approach. Transportation leadership you can trust. I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study. presented to 12th TRB National Planning Applications Conference Houston, Texas presented by Dan Beagan Cambridge Systematics, Inc. May 18, 2009. I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study.

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rail truck diversion approach

Rail-Truck Diversion Approach

Transportation leadership you can trust.

I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study

presented to12th TRB National Planning Applications ConferenceHouston, Texas

presented byDan BeaganCambridge Systematics, Inc.

May 18, 2009

i 40 i 81 corridor feasibility study
I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study
  • Identify and address I-40/I-81 deficiencies
  • Consider effectiveness of truck/rail diversion
  • Consider multimodal solutions
    • HOV/HOT/truck only lanes
    • Increased use of rail
    • Public transit
study corridor
Study Corridor
  • Bristol to Memphis, 550 Miles
  • Includes 9 of the State’s 12 RPOs
  • Crosses 8 of the State’s 11 MPOs
trans tennessee corridor project description
Trans-Tennessee CorridorProject Description
  • Build out rail network between Nashville and Knoxville

Source: “An Evaluation of the Tennessee Rail Plan’s Treatment of a Trans-Tennessee Rail Routing” by Center for Business and Economic Research University of Tennessee

rationale for constructing the rail link
Rationale for Constructing the Rail Link
  • Practical impact of east-west network connectivity
    • Alternate route for through rail traffic
      • Supplement for NS’s current Knoxville-Memphis line
    • Easy rail access for Nashville goods to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets
      • CSX currently runs north-south through Nashville
      • Avoid circuitous Atlanta and Cincinnati routes
      • No NS service to Nashville
    • Easy rail access for Knoxville goods to the Northwest
nashville and knoxville access
Nashville and Knoxville Access
  • Freight flows from Nashville to Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
    • Need to estimate divertible truck tons in 2030
  • Freight flows from Knoxville to the Northwest
    • Need to estimate divertible truck tons in 2030
  • Truck-rail diversion model will determine if these divertible tons are significant on I-40/I-81 highway flows
truck rail diversion methodology
Truck-Rail Diversion Methodology
  • TDOT Freight Rail Model
    • Developed as part of the TDOT Freight Model
    • TRANSEARCH 2001 rail flows assigned to TransCAD rail network using length as impedance
  • Pros
  • Ability to estimate diversion based on improvements proposed as part of I-40/I-81 study
  • Data consistency with previous TDOT freight rail analyses
  • Cons
  • No capacity maximums on rail network
  • Capacity changes will need to be reality checked with railroads
truck rail diversion methodology overview
Truck-Rail Diversion MethodologyOverview
  • Run existing rail model under future year scenario
  • Update future year scenario and re-run model
  • Determine the change in distance between all origin-destination pairs in the existing and the updated rail models
  • Estimate the change in cost associated with the change in distance
  • Use cross-elasticities to estimate level of diversion from truck to rail
truck rail diversion trans tennessee corridor
Truck-Rail Diversion Trans-Tennessee Corridor
  • Add a rail link between Cookeville and Crossville to the rail network
  • Use the FRA shapefile as a guide for link shape, length, and placement
truck rail diversion estimate new distances
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate New Distances
  • Calculate lengths for new links in the updated rail network
  • Re-run the rail model with the updated rail network
  • Re-calculate the distances beween allorigin-destination pairs with this new network
trans tennessee corridor network connectivity for through rail traffic
Trans-Tennessee CorridorNetwork Connectivity for Through Rail Traffic





  • Proposed east-west connection distance = 469 miles
  • Current Knoxville-Memphis rail line distance = 446 miles
truck rail diversion example trans tennessee corridor estimate cost savings
Truck-Rail Diversion ExampleTrans-Tennessee CorridorEstimate Cost Savings
  • Estimate the rail cost associated for each origin-destination pair with and without the new rail link
    • For carload rail, cost/ton = $14.55 + $0.025 * miles
    • For intermodal rail, cost/ton = $20.84 + $0.028 * miles
  • Calculate the percentage change in costs
    • For each origin-destination pair without the new rail link
    • For each origin-destination pair with the new rail link
truck rail diversion estimate cost savings
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Cost Savings
  • Rail costs decrease for goods shipped by rail from Nashville to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
truck rail diversion estimate cost savings1
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Cost Savings
  • Rail costs decrease for goods shipped by rail from Knoxville to some states to the West
truck rail diversion estimate cost savings2
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Cost Savings
  • Rail costs decrease for goods shipped from North Carolina to some states in the West and counties in NW Tennessee
truck rail diversion estimate diversion
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Diversion
  • Use “cross-elasticities” to convert from change in rail costs to percent diversion from truck to rail in terms of tonnages

Source: “Estimates of Mode Choice Probabilities and Market Elasticities of Demand” by Walid M. Adelwahab.

truck rail diversion estimate diversion to rail
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Diversion to Rail
  • Calculate diversion of tonnages
  • Assign tonnages to rail network
truck rail diversion estimate diversion from truck highway
Truck-Rail Diversion Estimate Diversion from Truck/Highway
  • Convert annual tonnages diverted to daily truck trips
  • Remove diverted trucks from the truck trip table in the SWM TransCAD truck model
  • Assign new truck trip table to the highway network to determine the magnitude of the diversion for each highway link
truck rail diversion diversion from truck highway
Truck Rail DiversionDiversion from Truck/Highway
  • 500 trucks per day diverted from I-40 to the new rail connection
  • Diversion primarily limited to
    • Exchanges through northwest Tennessee to the Pacific Northwest
    • Exchanges to and from the Carolinas
  • The expected diversion of trucks traveling between Knoxville and Memphis did not materialize
    • Rail distance on the existing Norfolk Southern line,via Huntsville, Alabama is 446 miles
    • Rail distance for the proposed route on the CSX tracks,via Nashville is 469 miles
rail focused package
Rail-Focused Package
  • New intermodal yards (East Tennessee, relocation of Nashville yard to outside of urban area)
  • Rail line on new I-40 bridge over Mississippi River bridge in Memphis
  • Enhanced rail connectivity
    • NS Crescent Corridor
  • Does not include “Missing Link” Nashville to Knoxville
    • B/C for I-40 is 0.1