This data-file models the energy economics of constructing new electric rail lines, to displace automobile traffic and accelerate the energy transition.
Under our base case forecasts, a mid-sized electric rail project would struggle economically, without tax-support, while saving around 1kT of CO2 per track-mile per year.
The economics depend heavily upon prices, costs and passenger numbers. Double-digit returns are achievable outside the United States, based on >75% lower apparent capex costs, especially for lines carrying c10,000 passengers per day.
CO2 prices do not materially change the picture, only adding around c1.5pp to our base case IRRs, even at a CO2 price of $500/ton, near the top of our cost-curve.