Key Issues in the Application of Existing Conventional High Speed Railroad Technologies to Mobilization
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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The development of high speed passenger service at or above 125 mph has stimulated questions about the adoption of similar technology for Army mobilization and heavy freight traffic. This report identifies key issues involved in the application of high speed railroad technology to mobilization. Topics considered include route alignment and track requirements, equipment locomotive and car design, power and energy needs, construction and maintenance costs, operational and safety issues, and general technological challenges. This report compares characteristics of high speed and existing conventional services and discusses the differing requirements for heavy freight and passenger transport. Also included are performance comparisons between a high speed French TGV-SE passenger train and an idealized hypothetical TGV- style freight intended to carry M1 tanks. Hauling heavy freight at high speed presents substantial technical and economic challenges. The practical use of high speed trains for mobilization implies the need for a basic national high speed railroad network, much of which would require new construction. Thus, the considerable costs associated with high speed would have to be carefully weighed against the expected benefits.
- Surface Transportation and Equipment