RLBA has provided expert analytical services in support of freight, commuter and high-speed passenger railroad transportation in the U.S., Canada and more than a dozen other countries over the past 50 years, including more than 60 engagements relating to railroad passenger services. With respect to railroad passenger planning studies, the RLBA professional staff of highly trained operations planners, economists, engineers, financial analysts and accountants has earned a nationwide client base and reputation for thorough and objective reports, studies and testimony as regards operations planning and control; maintenance and capital costing; shared use and other railroad institutional issues; valuation and negotiation assistance as well as cost-benefit and economic impact analyses.
Southern California Regional Rail Authority
New Jersey Transit
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (Silicon Valley)
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Virginia Railway Express
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Los Angeles County Transportation Commission
Central Florida Commuter Rail Authority
Maryland Rail Commuter Service (MARC)
Transportation Agency for Monterey County (California)
Roaring Fork Railroad Holding Authority (Aspen)
Johnson County Department of Public Works (Kansas City)
Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (Cincinnati)
Orange County Transportation Commission (California)
San Diego Association of Governments
San Bernardino Associated Governments
Maryland Mass Transit Administration
Riverside County Transportation Commission (California)
National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Georgia Rail Passenger Authority
RLBA was founded in 1956 by Robert L. Banks. Bob was a veteran of the New York Central Railroad, the U.S. Army, the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Central Intelligence Agency when he entered the consulting field. Over the next 49 years, he directed the firm’s successful consulting practice and became recognized as the dean of railroad consultants. He acted as a policy advisor and technical analyst for numerous freight and passenger carriers of all modes, industries, governmental entities and trade associations, and directed projects relating to all aspects of transportation: traffic, revenues, operations, costs, economics and finance. He played a leading role in the promotion and implementation of the country’s rail renaissance of the 1980s and 1990s, serving as Technical Advisor to the Virginia Railway Express and Commuter Rail Advisor to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.
Freight Transportation: RLBA’s freight-related services address rates, infrastructure analysis, operations, economics, financial feasibility and due diligence analyses. RLBA has examined the economics, outlined facilities and operations and helped negotiate unit train movements from producer to consumer involving coal, grain, aggregates and municipal solid waste. RLBA professional engineers have inspected thousands of rail line miles and have produced going concern, gross and net liquidation valuations as well as maintenance and rehabilitation plans. Recently, RLBA has used the state-of-the-art rail simulation program to assess rail line capacity in three stand-alone coal rate cases before the STB.
Over the past decade alone, this firm has provided or is providing railroad passenger transportation negotiation and/or valuation counsel to agencies across the United States, including:
State Rail Planning – RLBA has performed nine state rail plans or updates in the past twelve years and over two dozen total. Shortline traffic, viability, maintenance requirements and operations planning represent other types of freight assignments which RLBA provides on a continuing basis. Clients often include banks and investors who are considering an equity position in a newly formed freight railroad. RLBA has been sought out because of its unmatched experience in negotiations of all types, its profound understanding of railroads as institutions and its recognition of the need to reconcile the needs of both passenger service sponsors and freight carrier track owners. Most importantly, RLBA understands the economics of the railroad industry through its continuous exposure to railroad projects of all types as experienced by a mostly senior professional staff trained in a wide variety of disciplines.