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« Previous: Chapter 8 - Beyond Revenue and Financing Mechanisms: Opportunities and Potential Strategies to Realize Rail Projects with a Funding Gap
Page 109
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 9 - Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Alternative Funding and Financing Mechanisms for Passenger and Freight Rail Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22149.
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Page 109

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109 No silver bullet financing model or truly new and previously unknown source of revenue can be accessed to fully fund and finance rail projects that have a funding gap. This Guidebook iden- tifies alternative funding and financing mechanisms that can be used to realize passenger and freight rail projects and services, where traditional funding sources, on their own, are insufficient. In general, if projects can be properly structured, there is an abundance of knowledgeable private financing institutions and of private capital ready to invest in rail projects. What is lack- ing is a way to fund those projects. This Guidebook identifies other opportunities and strategies for promoting the financial real- ization of rail projects or services that have a funding gap. However, using these mechanisms and approaches requires careful consideration and hard decisions about how to raise money from the public, allocate scarce public resources to rail projects, and potentially disrupt the status quo in the provision of rail services. Many of these decisions are likely to be politically sensitive. Never- theless, if the general premise is that a rail project or service is worthwhile and delivers value—a net benefit—then there could be a strong justification for making such hard decisions. As and when new funding and financing mechanisms are put to use in the United States, further research on their application and results will be important and beneficial and could help disseminate lessons and promote the use of the funding and financing mechanisms that prove to be most effective in realizing rail projects, given different contexts. C H A P T E R 9 Conclusions

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TRB’s National Cooperative Rail Research Program (NCRRP) Report 1: Alternative Funding and Financing Mechanisms for Passenger and Freight Rail Projects identifies alternative funding and financing tools that can be used to realize passenger and freight rail project development, including capital investments, operations, and maintenance. The report summary is available online.

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