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Comparative evaluation of rail and truck fuel efficiency on competitive corridors : final report
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  • Abstract:
    This study provides a comparative evaluation of rail and truck fuel efficiency on corridors and services in which both modes compete. For the purposes of this study, competitive movements are defined as those of the same commodity having the same (or proximate) origin and destination (O-D) pairs. This study also provides an analysis of past and future trends of rail and truck fuel efficiency. A competitive movement is defined herein as one in which mode share is comparable between rail and truck. The term competitive is here used in an economic sense, which indicates that cost and level of service are close economic equivalents for shippers in a given market. In other words, this study does not evaluate any of the individual criteria that influence mode choice (e.g., cost, transit time, reliability, safety), and competitive movements do not imply equivalent levels of service. This study is strictly about fuel efficiency, and it does not compare the economic efficiency of rail and truck movements. Economic efficiency concerns not only transportation costs, on which fuel efficiency has a strong influence, but also accessibility, quality of service, speed of delivery, transit time reliability, and safety. This study compares rail and truck movements on the sole basis of fuel efficiency and consumption.
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