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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Gillen & David Levinson & Jean Michel Mathieu & Adib Kanafani, 1997. "The full cost of high-speed rail: an engineering approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(2), pages 189-215.
  • 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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    Citations

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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. repec:eee:transa:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:348-365 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. De Rus Ginés, 2011. "The BCA of HSR: Should the Government Invest in High Speed Rail Infrastructure?," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Chen, Zhenhua & Xue, Junbo & Rose, Adam Z. & Haynes, Kingsley E., 2016. "The impact of high-speed rail investment on economic and environmental change in China: A dynamic CGE analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 232-245.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Noor, Bashar Abdal & Sirong, Yi & Alam Kazmi, Syed Hasnain & Abid, Malik Muneeb, 2016. "Modeling for Operating Expenses and Time Consumption of High-Speed Railway (HSR)," MPRA Paper 73207, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:eee:transa:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:105-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Mark Delucchi & Don McCubbin, 2011. "External Costs of Transport in the United States," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Isabelle Laplace & Nathalie Lenoir & Isabel Rebello & Francisco Pita & Antonio Valadares, 2005. "Intermodality and passenger transport," Post-Print hal-01021742, HAL.
    15. repec:eee:transb:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:167-191 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Concepción Román, 2008. "Competencia intermodal en el corredor Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona ante la introducción del tren de alta velocidad," Economic Reports 11-08, FEDEA.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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