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State Rail Plans

States seek to reinvest in rail infrastructure and manage growth in both freight and passenger rail, and as such, short and long range State Rail Plans are being generated nationwide. RLBA is capable of analyzing both local and high-speed passenger rail service, forecasting growth in freight rail traffic as well as predicting future traffic patterns and ensuring full compliance with federal maintenance regulations. RLBA has assisted several major states in their long-range rail plans.

Select Project Descriptions:


The State of West Virginia selected a team including RLBA to prepare a comprehensive State Rail Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). RLBA’s assistance in preparing the State Rail Plan included:

  1. an inventory and profile of West Virginia’s regional, short line and tourist railroads;
  2. an overall freight rail assessment;
  3. evaluation of the capacity of the principal rail lines in the state;
  4. assessment of commuter rail service; and
  5. interview of rail shippers to determine the quality of rail service.

RLBA’s work included grade crossing inventories with regard to each railroad and determinations regarding compliance with the Federal Railroad Bridge Safety Management Program. RLBA also examined national and regional trends, pertinent to railroad transportation, that should be considered for a complete understanding of the role of railroads in West Virginia’s transportation system.


As part of a consultant team, RLBA assisted in the preparation of Wyoming’s State Rail Plan, in conformance with PRIIA, RLBA assisted by:

  1. preparing the inventory and profile of Wyoming’s short line railroads;
  2. identifying “best practices” in state rail planning;
  3. performing a complete inventory of Wyoming grade crossings;
  4. describing the importance of railroads in Wyoming;
  5. discussing public financing issues;
  6. providing information on railroad safety and security issues;
  7. discussing Section 130 grade crossing improvement funding and grade crossing incidents; and
  8. developing information with regard to prospective rail-related business development projects and the Wyoming funding of same.


RLBA was engaged as part of a team to develop a strategic overview of issues facing rail freight transportation in New Jersey. RLBA assisted in the team’s identification and framing of 40+ issues, risks and opportunities which were then advanced to three advisory committees representing transportation agencies, shortline railroads and Class I railroads, enabling the project team to generate a weighted scoring of the issues in terms of their importance to the freight rail community in New Jersey. RLBA also delivered a state-wide inventory of 49 on-going and planned freight rail projects.