Calculation of Access Charge for High Speed Rail XpressWest of Nevada

Sameeksha Sapkota


XpressWest is a High Speed Rail (HSR) system that plans to connect Las Vegas with California at Palmdale. It will utilize the railway network of the California High Speed Rail (CAHSR) to connect Las Vegas with California destinations that include Los Angeles and San Francisco. For sharing the railway network of CAHSR, XpressWest will pay certain charge known as an access charge. The access charge is the fee paid by the train operator to the infrastructure owner for the addition of trains in a track. There are several access charge systems in the world. However, there is no study that calculates access charge for sharing the HSR passenger trains for private railroad system. This study develops a new framework to calculate a reasonable value of access charges for shared HSR systems. The study describes how to calculate access charge in terms of maintenance costs, congestion costs, and costs of installing side tracks mathematically. The study develops a theoretical capacity allocation model to calculate congestion costs. Based on the operation plans of both train systems, delay in operations are determined. The research used 18 different proposed train operating scenarios to calculate the value of the access charges. Based on the scenarios, the access charges range from $3.8 million to $62 million per year, with a fixed one-time cost of $56 million to $84 million in the beginning. Authorities are planning many HSR corridors around the US. The framework used in this research can also be adopted to other shared use track operation systems by changing the variable values.