Midwest Regional University Transportation Center
Chris Williamsrwilliam@iastate.edu email >
About the research
The loss of rail network infrastructure and rail service throughout the US has in most instances resulted in the modal shift of rail freight to truck. Rail freight converted to truck may have significant impact on pavement maintenance costs and activities due to the increased highway traffic volumes. This study investigated three short-line rail routes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and determined the potential impact of diverting rail freight flows to truck. A freight flow analysis was undertaken to illustrate the new truck flows by highway classification and usage. The highway route current conditions and asset management techniques were documented. A pavement maintenance model was created to determine the incremental maintenance cost per ton-mile if additional freight moved over various classes of highway and the resulting impact on highway funding.