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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Federal Railroad Administration Announces Availability of Rail Economic Benefit Analysis CD-ROM

Document Series
Press Releases
Press Release Number
Contact Name
Warren Flatau
Contact Phone Number
RailDec, CD-ROM, economy

Wednesday, November 04, 1998 (Washington, DC)

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the availability of a CD-ROM containing the RailDEC family of computer programs designed to evaluate the full range of economic benefits resulting from railroad-related infrastructure investments.

The RailDEC CD-ROM contains four software applications intended to help FRA’s partners, such as metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), to conduct benefit-cost analyses for railroad-related projects. In addition, the programs can provide a risk assessment of the benefits and costs for each project under evaluation.

"President Clinton is committed to building a flexible transportation system for the 21st century which is safe and accessible to all," FRA Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris said. "These computer models will help our state and local partners determine the most cost-effective transportation investments."

The RailDEC CD-ROM contains software which can be used to evaluate the benefits and costs of rail and intermodal investment projects, the benefits and costs of grade crossing improvements, including grade separation and grade crossing closure, as well as a feature which enables the user to organize corridor-level grade crossing evaluation plans.

The programs are user-friendly, windows-based software applications. They were developed in consultation with several state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations. The models make use of the most recent research on the environment, safety, and traffic network analysis. Users can customize these models to reflect regional conditions.

Federal investment policies require a system of analysis of expected benefits and costs including both quantitative and qualitative measures of all infrastructure investments. The RailDEC computer models take this into account, and include categories such as net present value and economic rate of return. Safety, environmental and traffic flow variables are included in each application.

Molitoris said the models will enable public decision-makers to demonstrate that rail and rail-related investments make sense and often provide the best solution to local transportation challenges. She explained that the benefit-cost analysis method developed by the FRA is a practical application to target transportation investment.

For more information on acquiring the RailDEC CD-ROM, contact Karen McClure, FRA Office of Policy and Program Development at (202) 493-6417, fax (202) 493-6401, e-mail, or write to: Karen McClure, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, 1120 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20590.


Last updated: Wednesday, November 4, 1998
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