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Comparison of external costs of rail and truck freight transportation

  • Forkenbrock, David J.
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    In this article we estimate external costs for four representative types of freight trains. For each type of freight train, we estimate three general types of external costs and compare them with the private costs experienced by railroad companies. The general types of external costs include: accidents (fatalities, injuries, and property damage); emissions (air pollution and greenhouse gases); and noise. Resulting private and external costs are compared with those of freight trucking, estimated in an earlier article. Rail external costs are 0.24 cent to 0.25 cent (US) per ton-mile, well less than the 1.11 cent for freight trucking, but external costs for rail generally constitute a larger amount relative to private costs, 9.3-22.6%, than is the case for trucking, 13.2%.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 4 (May)
    Pages: 321-337

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:35:y:2001:i:4:p:321-337
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    1. Small, Kenneth A. & Kazimi, Camilla, 1995. "On the Costs of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0sx81025, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. McMullen, B Starr & Stanley, Linda R, 1988. "The Impact of Deregulation on the Production Structure of the Motor Carrier Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, April.
    3. Forkenbrock, David J., 1999. "External costs of intercity truck freight transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 505-526.
    4. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Economic Performance in Regulated and Unregulated Environments: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Railroads," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 559-81, November.
    5. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
    6. Lee, Tenpao & Baumel, C. Phillip, 1987. "The Cost of Structure of the U.S. Railroad Industry Under Deregulation," Staff General Research Papers 11685, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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