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The full cost of high-speed rail: an engineering approach

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Author Info

  • David Gillen

    (Institute of Transportation Studies, Rm. 109 McLaughlin Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

  • David Levinson

    (Institute of Transportation Studies, Rm. 109 McLaughlin Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

  • Jean Michel Mathieu

    (4, Chemin de Coute, F-94500 Haloge, France)

  • Adib Kanafani

    (Institute of Transportation Studies, Rm. 109 McLaughlin Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

Abstract

This paper examines the full costs, defined as the sum of private and social costs, of a high-speed rail system proposed for a corridor connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco in California. The full costs include infrastructure, fleet capital and operating expenses, the time users spend on the system, and the social costs of externalities, such as noise, pollution, and accidents. Comparing these full costs to those of other competing modes contributes to the evaluation of the feasibility of high-speed rail in the corridor. The paper concludes that high-speed rail is significantly more costly than expanding existing air service, and marginally more expensive than auto travel. This suggests that high-speed rail is better positioned to serve shorter distance markets where it competes with auto travel than longer distance markets where it substitutes for air.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 31 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 189-215

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Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:31:y:1997:i:2:p:189-215

Note: Received: May 1996 / Accepted in revised form: December 1996
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Cited by:
  1. Mariko Utsunomiya & Kenichi Hodota, 2011. "Financial lessons from Asian experience in constructing and operating high speed train networks," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(5), pages 753-764, September.
  2. Michael B. Charles & Neal Ryan & Robbert A. Kivits, 2012. "Moving towards sustainable intercity transport: a case study of high-speed rail in Australia," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 15(1/2), pages 125-147.
  3. Adler, Nicole & Pels, Eric & Nash, Chris, 2010. "High-speed rail and air transport competition: Game engineering as tool for cost-benefit analysis," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 812-833, August.
  4. Campos, Javier & de Rus, Gines & Barron, Iñaki, 2007. "The cost of building and operating a new high speed rail line," MPRA Paper 12396, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Campos, Javier & de Rus, Ginés, 2009. "Some stylized facts about high-speed rail: A review of HSR experiences around the world," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-28, January.
  6. Nicole Adler & Chris Nash & Eric Pels, 2008. "High-Speed Rail & Air Transport Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-103/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Nicole Adler & Chris Nash & Eric Pels, 2008. "High-Speed Rail & Air Transport Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-103/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Chester, Mikhail V. & Ryerson, Megan S., 2014. "Grand challenges for high-speed rail environmental assessment in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 15-26.
  9. Concepción Román, 2008. "Competencia intermodal en el corredor Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona ante la introducción del tren de alta velocidad," Economic Reports 11-08, FEDEA.
  10. Campos, Javier & de Rus, Gines & Barron, Ignacio, 2007. "A review of HSR experiences around the world," MPRA Paper 12397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Delucchi, Mark A. & McCubbin, Donald R., 2010. "External Costs of Transport in the U.S," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt13n8v8gq, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  12. Jiang, Changmin & Zhang, Anming, 2014. "Effects of high-speed rail and airline cooperation under hub airport capacity constraint," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 33-49.

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