Northeast Corridor Energy Usage and Demand Study

At a Glance

  • Client(s)
  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
  • Project Location(s)
  • Boston, Washington DC
LTK-designed railcarTaking charge of energy costs. 

Amtrak and Metro-North, two owners and operators of Northeast Corridor traction power systems between Washington and Boston, needed to determine the most equitable allocation of their $100 million annual electric bills.

LTK was selected by Amtrak and five of its Northeast Corridor (NEC) commuter rail partners to conduct a comprehensive simulation-based NEC Energy Usage Study. The purpose of the analysis was to determine the percent allocation of electric traction costs for each of the NEC rail operators, including Amtrak, MARC, Delaware DOT, SEPTA and NJ Transit on the South End. On the New Haven Line, the analysis will determine the percent allocation between Metro-North and Amtrak.

The work by LTK reflected the replacement of older rolling stock (such as Silverliner IIs and IIIs as well as Amtrak AEM-7 locomotives) with more energy-efficient, new vehicles (such as Silverliner Vs and ACS-64 locomotives). LTK’s work used the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) and the Northeast Corridor Commission’s cost allocation methodology.

Using its TrainOps® simulation software, LTK simulated two current operating plans, reflecting peak season and shoulder season auxiliary power demand. Additional usage and demand is included in the form of yard loads, switch heater loads and signal power loads.

By using consensus-building to get agreement on all operating, infrastructure and vehicle simulation assumptions, LTK was able to support the railroads in developing mutually-acceptable allocation of the NEC electric bills. This allocation continues to be used in both the Amtrak and Metro-North segments of the Corridor.