Most proposals incorporating the roadway/ carrier separation concept utilize government ownership of rail roadways. Under the Free Enterprise Alternative rail fixed ways would remain in the private sector.
Several regional roadway companies would serve the nation, each company owning all rail roadways in its geographic region. Each roadway company would be a corporation, with its stock traded on public exchanges by investors. Roadway companies would not be affiliated with any carrier. Each roadway company would operate its tracks as a toll road for all carriers. Carrier companies would pay published tolls for use of roadway segments. Roadways would be shared by all carriers desiring to use them; there would be no exclusive use of any roadway.1 In operation, roadways would resemble the fixed ways in the other modes, with the exception that rail roadways would be owned, maintained, and have their traffic controlled by regional roadway companies--not public agencies.
Regional roadway companies would improve roadway maintenance and traffic control. Economic advantages would be obtained through traffic concentration, network utilization, and geographic concentration. By concentrating traffic on the best routes, the roadway company could utilize economies of scale in capital investment, operating flexibility, and maintenance work. Greater network utilization would be possible since the roadway company would own all roadways in its area. Detours, bypasses, and alternative routes could be arranged quickly and easily. Geographic concentration would improve the productivity of maintenance forces, since all of the company's roadways would be located in a compact regional area.
The primary asset of each regional roadway company would be its roadways: track, supporting structures, right of way, and traffic control system. The roadway company would own all roadways within its region except (1)
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Publication information: Book title: Railroads, the Free Enterprise Alternative. Contributors: Daniel L. Overbey - Author. Publisher: Quorum Books. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1982. Page number: 131.
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