MACTRAXX wrote: ↑Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:29 pm removing the two "passenger" mains with the reduction in NYC Empire
Purely semantics, but it was the freight mains that were removed. Portions of #3 & #4 still remain as the extra controlled sidings and yard leads on the north side. Which actually plays into part of the problem below:
Greg Moore wrote:As for 4 - tracks west of Albany
Not going to happen. CSX has made it clear that they want a minimum spacing from their existing 2 tracks that would limit room for ONE additional track. But, given the number of passenger trains, that should still work.
I think they were looking for a minimum of 30 feet? (Don't quote me, just going off my memory of past discussions of the topic) Which would actually go beyond the extent of the currently owned ROW for the majority of the corridor if I'm not mistaken. It would certainly be beyond the dimensions of most of the remaining 4-track bridges along the line.
The other issue as I understand it is that in some cases however, the room available isn't on the same side as the existing stations, etc which would require crossing over for boarding and unboarding.
This is because the freight mains were what was removed and freight traffic mixed with the remaining passenger traffic on #2 & #1. The corridor here was part of the NYC's unique track layout where the passenger mains, and therefore the stations, were all on the south side of the tracks, while the freight mains ran "left handed" on the northern two tracks (partially to prevent the crossover of passenger and freight trains, and the "left hand" running to reduce catastrophic results if a freight load hung over and caused a side swipe with a passenger train) and thus the majority of the yards were on the north side.
So that issue is actually two-fold. Not only would the high speed track be on the north of the existing lines and therefore opposite of the stations like you say, you'd also have issues with locations where the original freight mains still exist. At virtually all the yards along the corridor these have been converted into extended leads and "stacking" space, at numerous locations in between you have controlled passing or tie-down sidings that are still remnants of #3, and any diverging route to the North that still exist. The Charlotte Runner in Rochester and Fairgrounds Sub in Syracuse both come to mind immediately, but I know there are a number of industries that come out to the North as well.
With the spacing requirements and the remnants of how the NYC left the tracks when they converted to CTC, utilizing the current ROW is virtually dead in the water. Unfortunately.