This paper develops a cost-estimation model for building, operating, and maintaining a high-speed rail (HSR) system. The model introduces a macroscopic life cycle cost approach that encompasses HSR systems, the interactions between the subsystems, and the variability of the systems. For this reason, costs associated with HSR systems were categorized into operations, infrastructure, maintenance, and external costs, and their relationships and behaviors were modeled over their lifetime. A hypothetical HSR line was assumed to illustrate how the model behaves with respect to demand, speed, length, and the infrastructure and rolling stock types. The results show that articulated train sets provide a lower life cycle cost than nonarticulated sets, ceteris paribus. The results also indicate that the designs proposed by most manufacturers are less interesting from a life cycle cost perspective.
2016 Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies