September 25, 2008 | Mark Paradies

How To Finance an Important Safety Improvement

The federal government may be requiring “high-risk” railroad tracks to install a fairly expensive satelite navigation based positive control system.

The Press-Enterprise wrote:

“The cost of installing train controls along the 338 miles of Metrolink track in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties would be between $23 million and $67 million, based on Metrolink estimates. That’s $70,000 to $200,000 per mile, officials estimated.”

With costs this high, how do you fund the safety improvement? That’s a question that every company must face when funding expensive improvements.

When it comes to a nationwide effort (all systems should work together so that a train crossing the country uses a single system), the temptation is to require federal funding.

What do you think? Should the whole country chip in? Or should the railroads involved fund the improvement?

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