Northeast Rail Operations Study (NEROps) Phase I Final Report
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Northeast Rail Operations Study (NEROps) Phase I Final Report

Filetype[PDF-4.71 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Northeast Rail Operations Study (NEROps) - Phase I & II
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    • Edition:
      Phase I Final Report
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    • Abstract:
      The I-95 Corridor Coalition is a partnership of state departments of transportation (DOT), regional and local transportation agencies, toll authorities, and related organizations (including law enforcement, transit, port, and rail organizations) from Maine to Florida with affiliate members in Canada. With a population of almost 108 million, the Coalition region is home to nearly 37 percent of the nation's inhabitants and one-third of the nation's jobs, yet only contains 10 percent of the United States' total landmass. Between 1970 and 2005, the total population of the Coalition region increased by almost 30 million, or 37 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2025, an additional 26 million people will live in the Coalition region, bringing the population total to 134 million. This population growth, coupled with the significant growth in freight traffic, has begun to manifest itself in the form of capacity and congestion problems at key regional gateways, at important intermodal transfer facilities, and along critical highway and rail corridors. Taken together, these congestion and capacity concerns are beginning to erode the productivity of the region's transportation system and threaten its ability to meet the mobility needs of people and goods throughout the Coalition region. Travel time and cost are increasing, service reliability is decreasing, and the ability of the system to recover from emergencies and service disruptions has been diminished. Layered on top of these regional concerns are three broader trends: a renewed mandate for contingency planning to protect the integrity of freight and passenger transportation systems; continued globalization and an increasing reliance on international trade, which has heightened the importance of a safe, reliable, and secure transportation system and placed increasing pressure on already constrained infrastructure; and recognition that the public and private sectors - acting independently - may not have the necessary resources to fully address rising passenger and freight demands. The I-95 Corridor Coalition has begun to work with its member states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) to address these trends and challenges by helping them to develop strategies to manage transportation system capacity more comprehensively, build system-oriented institutional relationships, and develop system-responsive funding and implementation techniques. The Northeast Rail Operations (NEROps) study is one such effort. This report documents the first phase of the NEROps study, which investigated the regional rail transportation network in New York State, New England, and Atlantic Canada as a system and identified the major historical factors and emerging trends that are impacting the efficiency of the system today and will continue to impact the ability of the region's freight and passenger railroads to attract additional traffic. Subsequent phases will entail the identification of specific projects, strategies, and initiatives that will allow the Northeastern states and the I-95 Corridor Coalition to address specific systemwide issues and chokepoints that cross jurisdictional, interest, and financial boundaries. By engaging rail stakeholders in the region, describing key trends and issues affecting freight and passenger rail in the Northeast, and identifying the high-level infrastructure, operational, and policy issues hindering effective freight and passenger rail service in the region, the results of this phase of the NEROps study provide a foundation that will facilitate and guide these future efforts.
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