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The Full Cost of High-Speed Rail: An Engineering Approach

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Author Info

  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

  • Jean-Michel Mathieu
  • Adib Kanafani
  • David Gillen

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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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/HighSpeedRail.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 199705.

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Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Annals of Regional Science 31:2 189-215.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:highspeedrail

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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Adler & Chris Nash & Eric Pels, 2008. "High-Speed Rail & Air Transport Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-103/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Concepción Román, 2008. "Competencia intermodal en el corredor Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona ante la introducción del tren de alta velocidad," Economic Reports 11-08, FEDEA.
  8. Nicole Adler & Chris Nash & Eric Pels, 2008. "High-Speed Rail & Air Transport Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-103/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. 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.
  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. 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.

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