Avery Grimes' research explored the fundamental nature of railroad infrastructure investment using a combination of engineering, economic, and financial theory. It presented a significantly improved method for optimizing transportation resources by defining and correcting the role of investment within the industry. Within the realm of engineering theory, the research explained and estimated efficiency gains from changes in investment based maintenance strategies. Within the realm of economic theory, the research explained the relationship between investment and output and corrects previous assumptions regarding the appropriate role of investment in marginal cost calculations. Within the realm of financial theory, the research identified how inappropriate application of engineering cost theory leads to under-pricing of transportation services from both regulatory and commercial perspectives, resulting in sub-optimal decisions regarding operations and infrastructure investment. In summary, the research provided new techniques for evaluating transportation maintenance strategies, setting appropriate transportation prices, adjusting regulatory controls, and optimizing resources dedicated to railway infrastructure investment.
Grimes, G.A. and C.P.L. Barkan 2006. Cost-effectiveness of railway infrastructure renewal maintenance. ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering 132: 601-608.