Class I railroads have been replacing 263, 000-pound (loaded weight) covered hopper cars capable of handling 100 tons of grain with 286, 000-pound covered hopper cars that can handle 111 tons. While these heavier cars provide a decrease in railroad cost per ton-mile for the Class I (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Railroads; they will cause a significant increase in operating and maintenance costs for the shortline railroads in the state of Kansas. Currently the shortline railroads make up 44% of the Kansas rail system. Five of the major shortline railroads that were consulted in this study found that at least 70% of their mainline tracks would need to be upgraded in order to efficiently and safely handle the 286, 000 pound cars. Eight-six percent of their bridges would also need to be upgraded. The total cost to upgrade the tracks and bridges is estimated atUsing HAL cars results in a reduction in car and locomotive ownership costs, labor costs, fuel costs, and car and ... The model is a spreadsheet based model that employs inputs obtained from interviews with shortline railroad operators.
|Title||:||The Impact of Jumbo Covered Hopper Cars on Kansas Shortline Railroads|
|Author||:||Michael W. Babcock, James Sanderson|