I would not count the former PRR west of Crestline as a "usable" mainline. I am not certain if NS trackage rights were retained when CSX leased this line to the CF&E. In any event, this line still suffers from a lack of passing sidings from when Conrail downgraded the line in the 1980's. When this was done, there was only local service, and Amtrak (initially just the Broadway Limited, the Capitol Limited was added later). The thought being that the sidings would be there (If I recall correctly, there's 2 east of Ft. Wayne and 2 west of Ft. Wayne) to provide a spot for the local to duck into if they were for some reason out when Amtrak was around. In any event, it would be difficult to operate more than a handful of trains (when NS owned the line west of Fort Wayne to Valpo they limited it to 6 trains per day) on the line due to it's configuration.
As for the NKP side, It has capacity constraints as well as it is primairly single track with long passing sidings. West of Fort Wayne, it also picks up additional traffic as it is the preferred route for trains from Chicago to points south like Cincinnati. Another issue with this route compared to the former NYC is that there is no way to get from the NKP side to Elkhart, so carload traffic that would be classified at Elkhart can not be re-routed to the NKP side.
The former NYC got a big boost in traffic (8-10 trains per day) when the new CP routing via Butler IN was instituted. While there is disagreement on how much this factored into the recent issues in Indiana, it is still a rather sizable chunk of traffic that the route had to digest.
Overall, business levels are higher as well - which has led to more trains & issues like this popping up.
JJJeffries wrote:Hello All:
West of Cleveland Norfolk Southern has a total of three mainlines. Two are the former NYC/PC/CR main to Chicago and the third is the old Nickel Plate main.
Why can't they move the trains better than what is happening?
Appreciate any and all help.
Lock Haven, Pa.