shared rail tracks

Shared Use Right-of-Way Planning

Across the country, the vast majority of intercity passenger and commuter rail services operate on shared infrastructure with freight railroads, creating the need to carefully coordinate freight and passenger rail trains. RLBA brings an unparalleled depth and understanding of freight railroad operations and expert negotiation expertise to assist public and private passenger rail entities plan and execute shared use operations.

Select Project Descriptions:


RLBA performed a detailed capacity analysis of CSX Transportation’s RF&P Subdivision between Richmond, Virginia and Washington, DC. RLBA determined improvements needed and tested results using the Dispatch Planning Model simulation analysis and recommended improvements including additional trackage, signalization and control systems, grade crossing elimination and reduction of track curvature. RLBA also estimated and prioritized improvements based on need and cost effectiveness.


RLBA was engaged to facilitate the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System “River Line” between Camden and Trenton. RLBA played a key role in the valuations and negotiations leading to the acquisition of the formerly freight-only rail line and in the development of a shared use operating plan. RLBA assistance included a comprehensive and detailed examination of the design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) bid documents, to assure complete coordination of all DBOM activities in the construction, inspection and maintenance and operations agreements drafted by RLBA for NJT. Specifically, the firm examined the volume and nature of freight movements on the subject trackage to determine the safety, feasibility and other parameters of shared use on the same track or within the same right-of-way. RLBA also estimated rail asset, real estate and going-concern values of the property. Finally, RLBA participated in numerous negotiating sessions and drafted appropriate documentation to facilitate the process of gaining access to the subject freight trackage.


RLBA assisted SJRRC in its Service Expansion Analysis. The SJRRC sponsors Altamont Commuter Express passenger rail service between Stockton and San Jose, California. SJRRC considered expanding service to Sacramento, Merced, Los Banos and Oakland. RLBA:

  1. identified the elements to be included in future access agreements;
  2. characterized the corridors over which expansion may be realized;
  3. evaluated opportunities to reach agreement;
  4. reviewed commuter rail access and operating agreements nationwide in order to identify elements which have proven successful;
  5. identified the objectives of the parties involved; and
  6. developed an access strategy regarding each rail corridor.