Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cost Estimates - Pittsburgh to Harrisburg

Here are some sources for estimated costs:

What might the addition of a third dedicated track the length of the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line be per mile?

Looking at the "National Rail Freight Infrastructure Capacity and Investment Study," prepared for the Association of American Railroads by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. in 2007, Table A.7 "Hierarchy of Archetypical Rail-Freight Corridors," " Unit Cost to Upgrade Lines," provides a cost estimate. An existing 2 track line to add a 3rd track with signal systems such as central traffic control or traffic control system would cost $4,400,000 a mile. Within that estimate is the assumption that existing bridges would have to be widened. Drainage systems would have to be enlarged. So, the estmate for aa right of way already built for four tracks but reduced to two tracks would likely be less than $4,400,000 a mile.

The University of Pennsylvania's School of Design in 2010 published, "Making High Speed Rail Work in the Northeast Megaregion - Shaping the Future Through Strategic Transportation Investments." Their project was an effort to update the existing Northeast Corridor in order to support line haul speeds of 160 mph a true high speed rail operation. The study's cost appendix for new right of way construction at grade with two tracks would be $2,069,156 a mile. Signaling would be $1,761,830 a mile assuming the soon to be required automatic traffic control system. Required fiber optic communications would be $1,457,152 a mile. For the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line the communications and signalling system exists. It would not be new construction as the Penn Design study addresses.  Their estimate for new construction for two tracks with a new signalling system would be $3,830,986 a mile.

The Woodside Consulting Group prepared in 2005 a study entitled "Keystone West Passenger Train Study" for the Norfolk Southern and PennDOT. In volume 2 of the study an attachment "N" describes the cost to build a new track at the Pittsburgh station enabling freight trains to pass standing passenger trains there. At page 8 there is a break out of costs. Track work, signal work, grading and tamping of ballast were estimated to be $3,230,000 for 4,150 lineal feet of track.  4,150 is close to .79 of a 5,280 foot mile. That estimate would mean a total of $778.31 a foot for a price per mile of $4,109,477.

The average of the three studies is $4,113,000 a mile.  For the 254 miles, the total would be about $1,044,702,000.

Electrification costs: Returning to the Penn Design study, their estimate was $900,785 a mile for traction power supply plus $1, 679,699 a mile for traction power distribution. Their estimate was for two tracks.  So, it could be assumed that a total single track mile for traction power supply and traction power distribution would be about 1,740,635 a mile.
Electrifying a single track 254 miles would add $442,121,290 about to the project cost. That would be a total cost of about $1,486,823,290 for Pittsburgh to Harrisburg at an average cost per mile of $5,853,635.

Higher speed operations as proposed for Pittsburgh to Harrisburg would not require complete grade separations as needed for actual high speed rail operations.  Should overcrossings or undercrossing by roads be considered, Penn Design provided an estimate that for this blog is rounded to $9,000,000 for each grade separated crossing that might be built. The rounded estimate is for what the Penn Design study characterized as a "suburban" crossing.

1 comment:

  1. I think that estimate may even be high. do you know how much amtrak spent per mile when it replaced track on the keystone east? how much for putting track back on the connecticut line?