National Academies Press: OpenBook

Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors (2010)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14376.
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5.1 Introduction Although many of the matters related to developing a new or expanded passenger rail service on a shared corridor have to be addressed in the planning, negotiation, and initial implementation stages, the process does not finish with the first revenue trip. In the research for this guidebook, all stakeholders reported that operating a successful service requires ongoing attention to service per- formance and the maintenance of effective cooperative relationships between all parties responsi- ble for delivering the service, including the host railroad, the operator of the passenger trains (Amtrak or another contractor), and any other contractors involved in delivering the service. Indeed, stakeholders reported that ensuring consistent high-quality service over time is one of the leading challenges for a passenger rail agency. The challenges arise from a conflict between the needs of users of passenger rail services, espe- cially commuters and riders on corridor-type intercity services, and practical problems of satisfy- ing those needs on a railroad ROW shared with freight service. The principal user needs relating to operating a shared rail corridor are: • Reliable service must be provided—most important, the frequency and magnitude of train delays should be within acceptable limits. Practically, reliable service means defining ser- vice reliability metrics, monitoring performance as measured by the metrics, and exercis- ing enforcement mechanisms so that all responsible parties can deliver on the required performance. • Passenger service capacity (seats and other on-board accommodations) is adequate to meet demand. • Schedules and journey times are appropriate for the kinds of trips taken by users. • Track condition must be maintained to provide adequate ride comfort, as well as meet safety requirements. Many other factors bear on the quality of service provided to the user, such as functioning on-board amenities (e.g., HVAC, lighting and toilet systems, cleanliness, food service quality, seat- ing comfort, etc.). However, these factors are usually fully under the control of Amtrak, the passen- ger rail agency, and the contract operator (if commuter service) and are not affected by the actions of other rail service operators using the corridor. This section discusses and provides recommendations on how best to ensure that customer needs can be met over time. Specifically, this section will discuss: • Maintaining service quality, primarily OTP, but also some passenger comfort and amenity issues. 74 C H A P T E R 5 Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations

• Managing service evolution over time to adjust for demand growth, faster service, route exten- sions, and new routes. This includes both short-term and temporary changes in response to special situations and events and longer-term evolutionary change to refine the service and accommodate traffic growth. Separate discussions are provided for Amtrak intercity services and for commuter services. With Amtrak, the primary access agreements are between Amtrak and the host railroads, and Amtrak’s operating agreements govern relationships. Amtrak usually also provides all O&M services for an intercity service, except for infrastructure maintenance and dispatching, which are provided by the host railroad. The sponsoring state or local passenger rail agency does not have hands-on, day-to-day responsibilities. In the case of commuter service, the state or local agency has to work directly with the host railroad, while at the same time managing O&M contractors. 5.2 Setting the Framework and General Points for Ongoing Service Management Agreements between a state or local government passenger rail agency, Amtrak (if inter- city service), a host railroad, and an O&M contractor (if commuter service) have been dis- cussed in Chapter 4. In all cases, the agreements must contain clauses that cover performance monitoring; procedures for resolving service quality problems; and procedures for amend- ing the access agreement to accommodate additional service, reduced journey times, and sim- ilar changes, often linked to specific infrastructure investments. A discussion of each of these subjects is provided in the following subsections. Note that while PRIIA gave the FRA and the STB new powers and responsibilities in these areas, these U.S.DOT agencies were still work- ing on detailed procedures for exercising these powers as this Guidebook was being finalized. The requirements in PRIIA and the status of actions by the FRA, Amtrak, and the STB are also summarized in the following paragraphs. 5.2.1 PRIIA Requirements and FRA, STB, and Amtrak Actions on Intercity Passenger Service Quality In response to frequent complaints and a marked deterioration in Amtrak service quality in recent years, Congress added requirements in PRIIA for setting and enforcing adequate intercity service standards: • Section 207 of PRIIA is of primary importance; it tasks the FRA with developing performance metrics for intercity passenger rail service, in cooperation with Amtrak and the STB. The FRA published draft metrics early in 2009. In related actions, Amtrak is also advocating application of metrics based on average train delay as described in Section 4.3 as Table 4-3 where service performance as measured by delay statistics is tied to passenger rail agency investments in a rail corridor. In this approach, host railroads are made responsible for corrective action where non- compliance is attributable to the railroad. • Section 213 states that the STB (1) may investigate service quality on any corridor where OTP is less than 80 percent or is in violation of performance standards established under Section 207 of PRIIA and (2) shall investigate service quality on complaint by Amtrak, a passenger rail agency that funds the service, the host railroad, or another operator on the same corridor. Appropriate penalties can be imposed if the host railroad is found to be responsible for all or some of the delays. The STB has held hearings on the implementation of procedures under this section of PRIIA. Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations 75

The status of STB and FRA efforts in response to these sections of PRIIA will be evolving over the coming months and years. Passenger rail interests are strongly advised to inform themselves of the current status of these efforts before entering negotiations with Amtrak and host railroads. The above requirements apply to intercity services as operated by Amtrak. In addition, PRIIA Section 401 empowers the STB to conduct non-binding mediation if a commuter rail agency and a host railroad cannot reach agreement on access terms on their own. This power has been dis- cussed in Section 4.4 of this Guidebook in reference to negotiating and finalizing a basic access agreement. The STB may exercise the same powers if a commuter rail agency and host are unable to reach agreement regarding service additions and other changes. 5.2.2 Performance Monitoring and Service Quality Service performance can be maintained at a high level only if it is both monitored regularly and arrangements are in place to address cases of unsatisfactory performance. Poor OTP and poor service in other areas can have a substantial adverse effect on ridership. In addition, delays have an adverse impact on operating costs, including additional train crew working hours, provision of substitute transportation if a train has to be terminated short of its destination, and compen- sation to passengers for missed connections. Recommended practices in each area are discussed in Sections 5.3 and 5.4 for Amtrak intercity and commuter service, respectively. Specific areas of interest include: • Reporting obligations—what is reported by the host railroad, Amtrak (if involved), and a con- tract operator (if involved) to the passenger rail agency and between each other. Usually, this includes service performance metrics such as delay minutes, analysis of delay causes and responsibilities, OTP, requirements for special reports on unusual delays and events, and arrangements for communicating information to the public, as required. Agencies responsi- ble for shorter intercity corridors may find that regular Amtrak reporting procedures may not be adequate and will have to establish separate local mechanisms. • Incentives, penalties, and contractually enforceable standards for OTP (host railroad) and other performance factors (for example, with a contract operator). • Recommended practices for working with a host railroad to correct persistent poor performance. • Lines of communication between host railroad, passenger rail agency, O&M contractor, or Amtrak, including arrangements for regular performance review meetings and establishing plans of action to address poor performance. 5.2.3 Agreement Revisions and Updates As discussed in Chapter 4, recommended practice with respect to access agreements is to exe- cute a long-term (20 years or more) master agreement with Amtrak (if intercity service) or directly with the host railroad (if commuter service). The long-term agreement will guarantee access and specify access terms, but will contain provisions for regular revisions of service details (e.g., number of trips up to a specified maximum, journey times, station stops) and additional infrastructure investments as needed. The agreement gives all users confidence that they can fol- low their long-term strategic plans for the corridor without risk that their plans will be blocked by an inability to renegotiate the agreement at some point in the future. However, because demand for both freight and passenger service and the availability of funding for service devel- opments are unpredictable, it is also necessary to have flexibility to adjust the agreement within defined limits in response to changing conditions. The agreements should be based on long-term plans and traffic forecasts for each corridor user and should provide security of access for ser- vices up to the planned or forecast traffic levels, plus an allowance for additional growth. In almost 76 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors

all cases, infrastructure investment will be needed over time to accommodate the growth, so the agreement should also define what is needed for each growth increment for each user and responsibility for funding the investment. Within this framework, the agreement should provide for the following types of revisions: • Major revisions to provide for significant capacity increments and service performance for each user, together with plans for making the accompanying infrastructure investments. • A procedure for initiating, financing, implementing, and managing capital investments in infrastructure. • Minor intermediate revisions, such as to add trips up to the threshold that would trigger a major revision or to revise schedules. • Day-to-day variations in service, such as to accommodate planned maintenance, to accommo- date extra trips for special events, or to respond to an unforeseen event. • Revisions to the payment schedule used to calculate access and O&M charges levied by the host railroad on tenant operators. This revision would normally be used in response to cost inflation for railroad labor and materials, and annual adjustments are the norm. Additional adjustments may be appropriate when an infrastructure investment changes the condition or performance of track or signal systems. For example, an upgrade to allow higher speeds would change what has to be operated, inspected, and maintained, and thus costs. These contract provisions will be tailored to the needs of the individual services and the concerns of each corridor user. The following sections describe recommended practices in the area of monitoring service quality, especially OTP. There are large differences between these practices as they relate to Amtrak intercity corridors and to commuter services. Most important, Amtrak’s operating agreements with the freight railroads govern service quality issues, including incentive pro- grams, and state passenger rail agencies in the past have had only a limited role. However, the advent of substantial investments by passenger rail agencies in intercity corridors expands the roles of state passenger rail agencies. The state agencies have to negotiate with both Amtrak and the host railroad to ensure that the investments will enable the host railroad to deliver the planned service (e.g., number of trips and journey times) and maintain the specified service quality. In the case of a commuter service, a state or local government agency is the principal in the access agreement with the host railroad and needs to be closely involved in ongoing arrangements for managing service quality. 5.3 Specific Approaches to Managing Amtrak Intercity Services With a few exceptions, Amtrak monitors service quality and OTP for all its services, whether Amtrak is the host or tenant railroad. Under applicable legal rights, Amtrak pays for access to a host railroad’s tracks based on an incremental cost formula. Amtrak is also empow- ered to include an on-time incentive program in its host railroad agreements, by which Amtrak either imposes penalties for poor performance or provides incentive payments for good performance. Until recently, Amtrak’s operating agreements with host railroads typically contained incen- tives and penalties based on an “OTP with exceptions” metric, i.e. incentives were based on a route’s OTP, with host railroads allowed to claim exceptions in specified circumstances. For example, the agreement may impose penalties if the OTP metric falls below 70 percent and will make incentive payments on a sliding scale if OTP exceeds 80 percent. A train is considered “on time” if it arrives at the terminal station within a specified number of minutes of schedule. Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations 77

This time allowance is a function of the duration of the train’s journey from origin to final des- tination. This agreement had two shortcomings from the point-of-view of a state agency that sponsors a short intercity corridor: • The OTP metric and the definition of “on time” may be too loose for the needs of a short-haul corridor that might carry business travelers or commuters, where service quality expectations are high. • In some cases, the OTP calculation was such that a few poorly performing services or trains resulted in a host railroad maxing out penalties, making it impossible for the railroad to earn incentive payments on remaining services. These arrangements proved inadequate as freight traffic grew. Concern over the cost of delays prompted Amtrak’s move toward host-responsible delay minutes as the preferred and more effective metric, as described in Table 4-3 in Section 4.3. Poor OTP also led to the inclu- sion of various measures to enforce better OTP in PRIIA, as described previously in Section 5.2.1. In addition, FRA grants are now available under PRIIA and ARRA for projects to relieve rail- road congestion and reduce intercity passenger train delays. An agreement to make such an investment can include contractual limits on average delay, as described in Section 4.3.5, to ensure planned benefits are realized. Amtrak is making steady progress in revising the old agreements to reflect new metrics and standards being developed by the FRA and the comple- tion of infrastructure improvements. Amtrak monitors service performance closely. The host railroads report train location regu- larly to Amtrak’s operations center, although these reports can sometimes be delayed or erratic. To enhance these reports, Amtrak has equipped all locomotives with GPS receivers that report locomotive position in real time. This information is supplemented by conductor event and delay reports, so service problems can be managed in real time and station displays, station staff, and waiting passengers can be advised of train status. The operations center also maintains contacts with host railroad operations centers to resolve problems. The reports also enable Amtrak to com- pile statistics of train delays and associated causes to monitor host railroad performance against agreed-upon performance standards. Thanks to PRIIA-required efforts to improve service performance, and more effective met- rics and contractual approaches, Amtrak now has more leverage with host railroads to insist on better service performance. However, there are cases where a rail corridor has chronic OTP problems caused by deep-seated operations or infrastructure conditions. In such cases, incentives and penalties may be insufficient to force the host railroad to shift priorities and expend the funds and effort to correct the problems in a timely fashion. However, if the cor- ridor is already well managed and does not have chronic problems, then the incentive can provide the impetus to “go the extra mile.” In the case of chronic problems, Amtrak’s practice is to sit down with the railroad to fully diag- nose root causes of delays and work out an improvement program that benefits both host and tenant. In one case of persistent excessive delays, the problems were traced to numerous slow orders and interference from track maintenance work. Amtrak agreed to a temporary extension of its schedule, in return for a firm plan from the host railroad to bring the track into a state of good repair over time. This plan allowed Amtrak to return to its original schedule in increments tied to the completion of individual projects. The plan helped the host railroad improve its freight operations as well, providing benefits for both parties. Some state-supported passenger services have found it beneficial to supplement Amtrak’s ser- vice quality monitoring and management systems and to be more proactive in diagnosing and correcting OTP problems. Examples are the Capitol Corridor between San Jose and Sacramento, 78 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors

California, and the Downeaster service between Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine. The state agencies responsible for these services have invested heavily in track quality and capacity upgrades, and they want to maximize benefit from this investment. Also, both services carry a higher fraction of commuters and business travelers than other non-NEC services and need high service reliability and OTP to meet customer expectations. Both these sponsoring passenger rail agencies maintain an active staff to help manage the service. Functions performed by these agencies can include: • Monitoring service performance and identifying and resolving service problems in cooperation with the host railroad and Amtrak. • Planning and implementing service improvements, including schedule adjustments, station improvements (in cooperation with local communities), cooperative arrangements with connecting and parallel bus services, and route extensions. • Marketing the service to the public, including a dedicated Web site, advertising, etc. • Providing real-time service information (e.g., about train delays) via the Web site and other communications channels. • Providing or funding add-on services, such as food service and on-train hosts. Amtrak continues to provide the core functions of train operations, equipment maintenance, and the basic access arrangement with the host railroad. Recommendations for passenger rail agencies that support Amtrak intercity services may be summarized as follows: • Consistent high service quality can be maintained only by closely monitoring OTP, train delay metrics, and other quality measures and stepping in to help resolve service problems in coop- eration with Amtrak and the host railroad. • Because of its primary operating agreement with the host railroad, Amtrak must lead cooper- ative efforts to resolve service problems, but it is important for the passenger rail agency spon- soring the service to be at the table to make sure that its concerns are heard and to participate in the solution, where appropriate. If the service sponsor has invested in the corridor (as is often the case), it will have more standing in the discussions and may be able to fund investment to improve service quality or overcome an identified problem. • Conventional incentive programs for OTP will help add a few percentage points to the per- formance of an already competently managed operation. However, they do not provide an incentive to correct major operations issues. Where possible, the passenger rail agency, in cooperation with Amtrak, should establish an enforceable service performance agreement where the host railroad is required to correct service problems if performance falls below agreed-upon criteria. 5.4 Specific Approaches to Managing Commuter Services The general principles behind the recommendations for Amtrak intercity service also apply to commuter services operated over a host freight railroad, suitably adapted to commuter service institutional arrangements. These adaptations recognize the key differences between Amtrak inter- city and commuter service: • There is no equivalent negotiations framework for commuter operations that compares to Amtrak’s negotiations framework, and the commuter rail agency must manage all aspects of the host railroad relationship on its own. Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations 79

• Many commuter services are operated over track owned or leased by the commuter rail agency, and the agency sponsoring the service or its contractor will be responsible for track maintenance and dispatching. Although there may be issues with ensuring good contractor performance, the commuter rail agency is in a position to address problems directly, without the involvement of a host railroad. However, in many cases, commuter agencies have given a freight railroad access to their commuter corridors. In these cases, the freight operator will be the tenant and is likely to have concerns analogous to an intercity passenger service operating on a host freight railroad. Mechanisms to address freight service issues may be needed, such as monitoring performance, identifying problem areas, and taking corrective action in cooperation with the freight service operator. • Almost all recently established commuter agencies rely on contractors to perform O&M activ- ities, including equipment maintenance and train operations. The contractor responsible for train operations will have day-to-day interaction with a host railroad, and it is essential to ensure that this relationship is constructive. If the commuter rail agency owns or leases the cor- ridor, then infrastructure maintenance and dispatching are added to contractor responsibili- ties, and the contractor must interact with a tenant freight service operator. Given this institutional framework, the recommended approaches to managing service quality of commuter operations on a host freight railroad include: • The commuter rail agency must monitor service quality in real time and be ready to take action in case of a one-time or chronic service problem. In particular, this recommendation requires a clear definition of agency responsibilities vs. those of a train operations contractor regarding communication with the host railroad and the level at which decisions should be referred to the agency. • The commuter rail agency is normally responsible for public communications on all matters affecting the service, whether a minor short-term emergency (like cancelling a train) or ongo- ing efforts to resolve a chronic service problem. In these communications, it is critical that the agency not blame problems on other parties or blindside the contractor or host railroad by releasing statements that have not been discussed in advance. Public discussion of disputes among the agency, host railroad, and contractor should be avoided. • As with Amtrak intercity service, chronic service problems must be addressed cooperatively by the agency, host railroad, and contractor. The goal should be to identify the root causes of the problem and work out solutions that make sense for all parties. Often, it is possible to develop win-win solutions that benefit both freight and passenger operators. Some freight railroads have commented that respecting passenger schedules results in more operating discipline and reduced costs in operating the freight service. • All commuter agencies establish an incentive program based on OTP or delay metrics. The base- line OTP is usually in the low 90 percent range, with the host railroad and/or contractor earn- ing bonuses for performance above that level. Penalties for low performance should be avoided. As with Amtrak intercity service, these types of incentive schemes add a few percentage points to OTP where the service is already well run but do not help with chronic service problems. It is critical to avoid ambiguity in defining and measuring service performance and deciding which exceptions, if any, are allowed. Also, where contractor and host railroads are jointly responsible for service quality, the commuter rail agency must have a mechanism to resolve disputes as to who was responsible for service problems. 5.5 Case Studies in Service Management The case studies in Appendix D yielded several good examples of approaches to maintaining high service quality in the face of the inevitable unpredictable events that can disrupt passenger rail ser- vice. One example is from the Capital Corridor in Northern California, where the CCJPA has the challenge of operating a high-frequency passenger service on a busy freight corridor. Another is an 80 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors

approach developed by the BNSF Railway, initially for the METRA commuter services it manages in the Chicago area, but now being applied to all commuter and intercity passenger rail services for which it is the host railroad. The third example is the Downeaster service, where good service qual- ity is maintained on a limited budget by careful attention to detail and maintaining good relation- ships with all stakeholders. The following summaries provide examples from these case studies. CASE STUDIES 5 Maintaining Service Quality on a Very Busy Corridor The portion of the Capital Corridor between Oakland and Sacramento, California, carries 32 one-way passenger trips and about 20 freight trains daily, making it one of the busiest shared corridors in the United States. The CCJPA has adopted a num- ber of strategies to maintain passenger service quality on this corridor, specifically: • Maintaining track quality at FRA Class 5, one class above that needed for the speeds operated by FRA regulations. This maintenance greatly reduces the chance that a track defect or slow orders will slow passenger operations. • CCJPA funds an additional year-round track maintenance crew and the additional cost of overnight maintenance activities. This funding allows maintenance to be carried out with minimum interference to daytime passenger operations, and the continuous attention reduces the likelihood of track quality falling below minimum standards. • Generally, higher track quality and associated infrastructure investments permit higher freight train speeds, reducing differences between freight and passenger average speed and reducing operating interference. The CCJPA approach is relatively high cost, but it more than pays for itself in additional ridership and revenue attracted by quality service. CASE STUDIES 6 Using Structured Delay Analysis to Maintain Service Quality The BNSF Railway is the host railroad for several commuter and intercity passen- ger rail services. One of these services, a commuter rail line in Chicago, is oper- ated by BNSF under contract to METRA, the Chicago area commuter rail agency. To ensure reliable service, BNSF developed a methodology for structured delay analysis to identify and correct conditions that were preventing reliable service. The approach, an adaptation of a process used by British Rail, involves assigning each delay to 1 of 19 cause categories and researching the root causes of cate- gories resulting in an unacceptable level of accumulated delay. BNSF staff work with the relevant railway departments to develop and implement corrective actions. Where a capital investment is the appropriate response to a delay prob- lem, the analysis provides BNSF with detailed data to support a request for funds. After success in Chicago, BNSF has extended the approach to all passenger services on the BNSF system. The decade of accumulated experience also enables BNSF to offer detailed advice to passenger rail authorities planning new services on exactly what is required to deliver high-quality service. Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations 81

CASE STUDIES 7 Maintaining Service Quality on a Low-Budget Corridor NNEPRA is responsible for managing the Downeaster service between Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine. This service comprises five round trips per day over a relatively short 120-mile corridor. Major capital investments and highly structured analysis processes would be overkill for this corridor. Instead, NNEPRA has evolved an approach that relies on tapping the resources of all stakeholders involved in delivering the service to identify and resolve service problems. NNEPRA staff meets regularly with host railroads, Amtrak, communi- ties that host passenger stations, cooperating bus operators, state transportation officials, advocacy groups, and service vendors (such as on-board food service). Issues identified during these meetings are taken up with the party best placed to take corrective action. In addition, parties that are not directly involved in addressing a problem can be kept advised of what is happening and be reassured that NNEPRA is responding. This is especially important for state officials and advocacy groups. If an investment can be justified, then NNEPRA can take steps to obtain funds. NNEPRA believes it is important to meet regularly with stake- holders, even when there are no pressing matters to discuss. These regular meet- ings build rapport with the stakeholders so that they are more ready to help when approached with a problem. 82 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 657: Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors is designed to aid states in developing public–private partnerships with private freight railroads to permit operation of passenger services over shared-use rail corridors.

The guidebook explores improved principles, processes, and methods to support agreements on access, allocation of operation and maintenance costs, capacity allocation, operational issues, future responsibilities for infrastructure improvements, and other fundamental issues.

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