Washington State DOT

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Advise state DOT on rail line acquisition

 

BACKGROUND

Federal, state, and local governments are increasingly recognizing the value of public investment in rail transportation. Unlike highway expansion, private-sector enterprises have an important role leveraging public investments in rail. Strategic Rail Finance provided experienced policy advice to bridge the gap in understanding.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the state legislature needed specialized industry knowledge to understand the industry economics of rail before appropriating funds to this $25.0 million public investment.

 

SRF APPROACH

Strategic Rail Finance transformed the private railroad company’s complex management and accounting records into sets of useful data and analytical tools. This process enabled the WSDOT to assess and understand all aspects of the rail operation.

 

RESULTS

  • Innovative point-to-point traffic flow charts to inform track investment and abandonment decisions
  • Detailed line-segment revenue and operating expense charts to supplement overall presentation of private rail company
  • Confirmation of rail operator’s professional and responsible stewardship of this portion of the state’s transportation infrastructure
  • Specific recommendations for proactive collaboration of public and private sector entities to grow the railroad, improve the community, and expand the region’s economy.