Bracdude181 wrote: ↑Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:20 pm @CJPat Strange, from what I can tell the complete opposite is going on.@Bracdude, every rail line has to deal with some kind of freight. It is the core of the rail industry. NEC deals with ME-2, OI-32 and others, but remember, Amtrak is trying to run a 125 mph railroad. It is more dangerous with the freights sharing the NEC than NJT sharing their 80 mph railroad with freight. Plus Amtrak owns the NEC and allows NJT access giving them the leverage over NJT not to allow more freight, unless they want to be agreeable.
As far as I know NJT wants absolutely no freight whatsoever. Obviously Amtrak doesn’t want a whole heap of long, slow, heavy freight trains on their tracks, but they understand that there will be situations where freight trains must share tracks with passenger trains. So they try to accommodate where possible. They seem okay with trains like ME-2 and OI-32 provided that there isn’t too many of them. It helps when you have four separate tracks at your disposal. It gives faster traffic a passing lane.
I understand that you identify NJT and the Coastline as being non-freight friendly via comments from your connected source. But all rail owners that prioritize Passenger over freight will always want the freight to either not run on their line outright or be regulated to off hour zones. And obviously it is relatively opposite for the rail companies that prioritize freight.
I think (don't know for a fact) that NJT has legal obligations to accommodate freight enforced by the ICC/FRA agreements. They may play games with authorizations to make it more inconvenient, but a serious legal challenge would probably change that. The State being the State likes to push it's muscle around over any privatized operation so no one wants to outright challenge them for fear of reprisals. Unfortunately, the Feds play the same game and are stronger at it. NJT wants certain abilities over Amtrak rails which means they must accept what Amtrak does not want. Big games played at pay levels much higher than anything i will ever make.
So if NEC doesn't want to accommodate something from Monmouth Junction, they can make NJT take it up to Rahway for shorter exposure on the NEC. So from my perspective, Amtrak is directing the big picture over who takes what and on what line.
Hey, maybe my perspective is all wrong.