Amir Tabesh

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammad Najafi


Increasing freight transportation capacity is the most important factor to keep US economy viable. Trucks moved 11.5 billion tons of goods, or 63.8 percent of total freight shipments in 2015, which is projected to grow to 16.6 billion tons by 2045. It is predicted truck travel may increase from 282 million miles per day in 2012 to 488 million miles per day by 2045. The U.S. railroad system includes 138,000 rail miles, which 93,500 miles owned and operated by Class I railroad and the rest of them owned and operated by regional and local railroads. While the miles of railroad are decreasing due to the poor condition of railroad and lower structural capacity of bridges, it is projected the annual tonnage of freight transportation by railroad increase by 24%. Existing and anticipated increases in the number of freight vehicles and other conveyances on both public and private infrastructure are stressing the system as more segments of the network approach or reach the capacity. The purpose of this dissertation is to estimate social and environmental benefits of three different alternatives, which are (1) widening the highway, (2) increase railroad capacity, and (3) implementation of underground freight transportation, to increase freight transportation capacity by using conceptual case study route. Underground Freight Transportation (UFT) is a class of automated inland freight transportation system, which vehicles carry freight through tunnels and pipelines between intermodal terminals. For this study, two traffic models, which are (1) Traffic Volume Distribution Model (TVDM) and (2) Traffic Flow Speed Prediction (TFSP) are developed. For estimating social and environmental cost of heavy-duty trucks, railroad, and UFT, following items are considered: (1) Air pollution, (2) Noise pollution, (3) Traffic accidents, and (4) Traffic congestion. Since the amount of emitted air pollution is dependent on the vehicle speed, new equations to estimate the social costs of air pollution are developed. As a result, UFT was found to have the lowest environmental and social costs compared with truck and railroad. UFT reduces air pollution, noise pollution, and traffic accidents reduce approximately 10%, 30%, and 30% respectively.


Underground freight transportation, Truck, Railroad, Environmental impact, Social impact, Air pollution, Noise, Traffic congestion, Accident rate, Freight


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington