From GBN (MILW 1970-81)
The system, while sworn by from both railfans and on-line employees, was outdated. While I have chosen to make this topic known to Mr. Phil Nasadowski, an Electrical Engineering graduate who posts principally over at the Northeast passenger Forums, and accordingly will defer to his knowledge on technical matters, 3KV does not make for efficient transmission of electric current. Further, the caternary, especially if it were to have been upgraded to today's standard of 25KV, could restrict the line from routing of double stack containers.
The comment heard about the halls of the General Offices atop CUS circa 1974, when the abandonment decision was made, was 'the first step to rebuilding the electrification has now been started". I believe that this decision has been borne out in that no Class I, any of which enjoy far greater traffic than the "one a day' Lines West hosted at the end, has considered electrification. No question whatever, any electrification provided a strong inherent economic advantage over steam locomotives. There were still advantages over "first generation' diesels (FT's, FA's, F-3's), but by the time the 'second gen' such as SDP-40's U-33's and C-430's was in service the advantage was roundly a 'toss up'. However, the current generation of SD-70's and C-44's simply leaves electrification "at the station'.
Now I hope my pessimism regarding the electrification does lead any reader believing I hold same thoughts regarding Lines West. Such is quite the contrary, for it is my firm conviction that had there been a "railbanking' precedent in which an owner could deem a property abandoned in place, and further absolutely held harmless from civil liability to the same extent as if it were unaltered from its natural state, yet with protection from 'squatters" and easements, the line would be providing needed railroad transportation today, although obviously not under the Fallen Flag of the Milwaukee Road.
I further hold that even though the Port of Seattle/Tacoma handles impressive volume of traffic, both tonnage and value, it would not have become the comparative backwater as it has to Los Angeles/Long Beach. Maritime companies consider the lack of a competitive East-West route (OK, UP makes rates but, even notwithstanding their current service "challenges", only has a rather circuituous routing ) a factor in which port they will dock their vessels.
Lastly, a review of applicable material will establish Seattle is closer to any Asian port of note than is LA/LB. Great Circles do amazing things to "rhumb lines".
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.