Making the Connection
Chapter 2: Rail and Road Networks
INTRODUCTION Transportation activity includes two familiar networks: roads and rail. Public services for transport are supported by a vast infrastructure of nodes, links and transport activity. There are many miles of distribution lines, access points, and users. The extent of transport networks in the US can be summarized as follows (US DOT, RITA 2011, Table 1-1; US DOT, FHWA 2011a, Table HM-20; US DOT, FTA, National Transit Database (NTD) for 2009): ● ● ● Roadways: – Highways: 4,050,717 miles (4,067,077 for 2010 (US DOT, FHWA 2012)) Rail: – Class I rail (owned): 93,921 miles – Amtrak (operated): 21,178 miles Transit (data for 2009 from NTD are in parenthesis along with the size of the NTD combined service areas of all US systems within each rail category): – Commuter Rail 7,561 (7,740) miles with service areas of 43,563 square miles – Heavy Rail 1,623 (2,272) miles with service areas of 10,892 square miles – Light Rail 1,477 (1,632) miles with service areas of 31,178 square miles. The National Research Council (NRC) (2002, p.212) underscores the extensiveness of rail networks, indicating there are more than 300,000 miles of freight rail lines in addition to the passenger lines given above. These systems have evolved over more than a century. Although they are distinctly different systems, road and rail networks often follow the same routes, are usually in close proximity to one another, and have formal interconnections between them. Where they do follow one another, rail corridors...
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