Relationship Building with Freight Railroads Critical to Support Intercity Passenger Rail Development

2016-02-25T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Kyle S. Bardo
With most of Amtrak’s 21,000 route miles utilizing privately owned freight railroad infrastructure, public officials seeking to incite intercity passenger rail development and address Amtrak’s deficiencies must work closely with the nation’s freight railroad industry. However, there exists a deep seeded animosity between both stakeholders that has severely hampered progress in Amtrak’s 42 year mission to operate, enhance and expand the nation’s intercity passenger rail network. In light of this, this paper investigates the origins of ongoing contention alongside railroad operating and business characteristics; evaluates the role of existing intercity passenger rail policy and development methods in fostering this conflict; and synthesizes new policy options and strategies aimed at reversing this pervading bad blood to stimulate intercity passenger rail development and establish a public private partnership between the freight railroad industry and the public sector.