• Busiest interlocking/junction?

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by Kilgore Trout
I have heard that Amtrak's HAROLD interlocking is the busiest in the US, with several hundred LIRR and around 50 Amtrak trains daily. Maybe this is true, but I'm curious what other contenders there might be for the title of "busiest interlocking" or "busiest rail junction."
  by Jtgshu
I would think that "F Interlocking" just next door to Harold would be busier because at F there are all the NJT and Amtrak moves into and out of Sunnyside Yard?

Of course, the entire NYP station complex isn't one interlocking but several smaller ones, but looked at as a whole, what the dispatcher (PSCC) controls, and the amount of moves made is simply staggering
  by DutchRailnut
how about Mott Haven where Harlem/New Haven traffic splits from Hudson traffic.
  by The EGE
Mott Haven definitely. Not sure what the name is, but the MNRR / Amtrak split at Pelham must be up there in # of trains as well.

They're certainly not as busy, but the interlockings at South Station, New Haven, West Side Yards / Penn Station, 30th Street (upper level) and DC Union Station are among the most-used in the US.
  by DutchRailnut
New Rochelle (CP216) is busy but far less than MO (mott haven) in Bronx.
Add up the Harlem/Hudson/New Haven trains, add about 30% more in deadheads to all yards, due to lack of storage in GCT, and you get to far more trains than Harold.
  by orangeline
I've read it once was the busiest rail junction in the US and perhaps the world, and maybe it still is in the US: the Chicago Transit Authority elevated junction at Lake and Wells Streets. All trains on the elevated structure entering or leaving the Loop must pass through this junction. There are 5 L lines sharing the tracks: Green, Pink, Brown, Orange, and Purple. The first 4 lines have at least 100 trains/weekday while the Purple line has maybe 40/day. The Pink, Brown, and Purple line trains pass through twice on each trip, entering the Loop, going around and exiting, so they visit the junction twice within about 10 minutes. The Green line trains go through once in each direction, and the Orange line passes through once on its route to/from Midway Airport. So, by my reckoning there would be >= 200 Green line trains + >= 200 Brown line movements + >= 100 Orange line trains + >= 200 Pink line movements + >= 80 Purple line movements through that junction every weekday for a grand total of at least 780 train movements per weekday. No too shabby!
  by The EGE
Well thought! I imagine other rapid transit systems have very busy interlockings as well. Some that come to mind are Rosslyn in DC, Copley Junction (Green Line) and the Red Line split in Boston, and the big junction in Oakland on BART.