Title page for ETD etd-06102011-101647

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Vandyke, Alex J
Author's Email Address avandyke@vt.edu
URN etd-06102011-101647
Title Development of a High-Speed Rail Model to Study Current and Future High-Speed Rail Corridors in the United States
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Trani, Antoino A. Committee Chair
Abbas, Montasir M. Committee Member
Flintsch, Gerardo W. Committee Member
  • Logit Model
  • Box Cox
  • High-Speed Train
  • American Travel Survey
  • Amtrak
  • High-Speed Rail
Date of Defense 2011-05-31
Availability unrestricted
A model that can be used to analyze both current and future high-speed rail corridors is presented in this work. This model has been integrated into the Transportation Systems Analysis Model (TSAM). The TSAM is a model used to predict travel demand between any two locations in the United States, at the county level. The purpose of this work is to develop tools that will create the necessary input data for TSAM, and to update the model to incorporate passenger rail as a viable mode of transportation. This work develops a train dynamics model that can be used to calculate the travel time and energy consumption of multiple high-speed train types while traveling between stations. The work also explores multiple options to determine the best method of improving the calibration and implementation of the model in TSAM. For the mode choice model, a standard C logit model is used to calibrate the mode choice model. The utility equation for the logit model uses the decision variables of travel time and travel cost for each mode. A modified utility equation is explored; the travel time is broken into an in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle time in an attempt to improve the model, however the test determines that there is no benefit to the modification. In addition to the C-logit model, a Box-Cox transformation is applied to both variables in the utility equation. This transformation removes some of the linear assumptions of the logit model and thus improves the performance of the model. The calibration results are implemented in TSAM, where both existing and projected high-speed train corridors are modeled. The projected corridors use the planned alignment for modeling. The TSAM model is executed for the cases of existing train network and projected corridors. The model results show the sensitivity of travel demand by modeling the future corridors with varying travel speeds and travel costs. The TSAM model shows the mode shift that occurs because of the introduction of high-speed rail.
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