• Single track Chicago Line?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by J.D. Lang
 
When Pearlman double tracked the NYC across New York State during the mid 50’s there were many improvements that made the line more fluid. There are interlockings every 20-25 miles with a third track for a passing siding. They completely re-signaled the whole line with General Railway’s Signals (GRS) TCS (CTC) system that allowed trains to run on any track in any direction with many crossover choices. They did not really diminish capacity by doing this.

CSX has spent a ton of money on signal upgrades on the whole line and getting it ready for PTC. I tend to agree with those up thread that this is more of a ploy for some kind of tax relief than seriously thinking of single tracking the line.

J. Lang
  by sd80mac
 
J.D. Lang wrote:CSX has spent a ton of money on signal upgrades on the whole line and getting it ready for PTC. I tend to agree with those up thread that this is more of a ploy for some kind of tax relief than seriously thinking of single tracking the line.
J. Lang
How much can they save on tax property by eliminate one line while still own the same full width of ROW from heydays of railroading (4 tracks, in some case, 6 tracks, including double tracks of westshore?

I know that they add more $ on each switches. So the switches would be still there, assuming siding every 10 miles or so as where interlocks are. So basically the track itself would be just removed, minus 2 miles or so of each sidings at most of interlock would reduce the tax property.
  by BR&P
 
From what I understand, back in his BN days EHH ordered a segment between Aurora and Galesburg single-tracked simply by setting the CTC machine in that manner. Supposedly there were some major problems. Quote from CBQ Yahoo board:

There was a business special, forgot long ago if it was full of major customers or the board of directors. But at any point it came into Galesburg eastbound, came to a halt and sat and sat and sat. Some exempt mgmt person on the train asked the DS over the radio what the hold up was, he was informed that the train he was on stood ten times out behind nine freight trains in front of it.
  by sd80mac
 
BR&P wrote:There was a business special, forgot long ago if it was full of major customers or the board of directors. But at any point it came into Galesburg eastbound, came to a halt and sat and sat and sat. Some exempt mgmt person on the train asked the DS over the radio what the hold up was, he was informed that the train he was on stood ten times out behind nine freight trains in front of it.

OUch not good. Not how CR did with their own OCS. Everyone getting out of OCS' way... and even for another Class 1's OCS too. (republication party at NYC/Philly and I think Boston too when someone tagged NS cars)
  by SecaucusJunction
 
And we thought Conrail had a rip and run mentality. They had nothing on Hunter Harrison.
  by Noel Weaver
 
SecaucusJunction wrote:And we thought Conrail had a rip and run mentality. They had nothing on Hunter Harrison.
Conrail ran a tight ship. I was proud to be a part of this it train after train would come in off the B & A or River Line, change crews and head west like a parade. UPS and other IM was very important and we did our part to keep business on our rails.
Noel Weaver
  by BR&P
 
Noel Weaver wrote:Conrail ran a tight ship. I was proud to be a part of this it train after train would come in off the B & A or River Line, change crews and head west like a parade. UPS and other IM was very important and we did our part to keep business on our rails.
Noel Weaver
Image Conrail was a success. Times change, businesses change, but it's interesting to speculate where they would be today if CR had been allowed to remain a separate entity.
  by RMB357
 
NS should get their part of the Chicago line up to 70 mph, any parts of the Cleveland line that can handle it and get any deficiency's out of the southern tier line, CP draw, signalling around Binghamton, etc so they can blow the doors off with expedited intermodal service between the east coast markets and points West. Take advantage of what is going on at CSX and gain more customers. Show em how to do it
  by BR&P
 
RMB357 wrote:NS should get their part of the Chicago line up to 70 mph, any parts of the Cleveland line that can handle it and get any deficiency's out of the southern tier line, CP draw, signalling around Binghamton, etc so they can blow the doors off with expedited intermodal service between the east coast markets and points West. Take advantage of what is going on at CSX and gain more customers. Show em how to do it
That's fine to wish for. The problem with what you suggest is all those things sound nice but actually will take several years and many millions to accomplish. I think it is extremely doubtful that CSX will melt away and become inefficient. Either EHH will prove the critics wrong and his plans WILL straighten things out, or they will tie a can to him sooner rather than later and will stop the bleeding - hopefully before too much infrastructure is irreparably removed.

If I were NS, maintaining and improving the lines you mention would be desirable, but betting the ranch on CSX fizzling away would not be a smart move.
  by tree68
 
BR&P wrote:I think it is extremely doubtful that CSX will melt away and become inefficient.
Reported on another forum that UPS is pulling their traffic off CSX and putting it on trucks.

That'll make life a lot easier - that many less cars to move, and expedited cars to boot. That'll help let EHH drop the Chicago line down to 50MPH or less....
  by BR&P
 
tree68 wrote:That'll make life a lot easier - that many less cars to move, and expedited cars to boot. That'll help let EHH drop the Chicago line down to 50MPH or less....
Heard unconfirmed report that EHH did not want their traffic. Why, I don't know. But the less traffic you have, the less delay to what's left. One train a day each way and it will be smooth sailing! :P

FWIW "C-2629" reported last week's UPS train went by as usual so apparently this has not fully happened yet. Will UPS withdraw everything in one shot or a gradual transition?
  by newpylong
 
He did the same thing at CP. Reduce traffic down to the level that you can handle, not try to handle the level of traffic that is in demand.

The board of directors should be flogged for hiring this guy.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Are we still talking about the yet-to-be-proven existence of a single-tracking program? Let's try to steer back on course rather than pile on EHH.

-otto-
  by Matt Langworthy
 
RMB357 wrote:NS should get their part of the Chicago line up to 70 mph, any parts of the Cleveland line that can handle it and get any deficiency's out of the southern tier line, CP draw, signalling around Binghamton, etc so they can blow the doors off with expedited intermodal service between the east coast markets and points West. Take advantage of what is going on at CSX and gain more customers. Show em how to do it
I'd love see that happen... but there a few things to consider:

1. CP Draw must be addressed if NS wants to reroute more than a few trains via the Lake Erie District & the Tier. CSX owns CP Draw now. Just as NS has been reluctant to sell the northern end of the Corning Secondary to potentially help CSX, it seems rather doubtful that CSX would rehab/replace/improve CP Draw just to help NS. CSX may address the bridge at some point to help themselves, but there's nothing definite yet.

2. NS also has the western NY/PRR/RDG/LV route between Chicago and the East Coast. I'm not sure it is at max capacity, so there is a definite possibility they'd just add more trains to their legs of the Conrail X if they manage to grab some of CSX's traffic. It will depend on how much business NS can gain and the associated costs.

3. Unlike the changes to the employee benefits and the pools (which are verified), there has been no confirmation from CSX regarding the single tracking of the former NYC. Given EHH's stated goals of making the former NYC, B&O and L&N corridors his priorities, it seems counterintuitive to reduce their capacity. I'll believe the reduction when I see it.

4. Alot of comments have been made here and on FB about the reduction in the number of trains CSX is running on the Water Level Route. Yes, a few trains have been eliminated, but their traffic has been added to other trains. CSX is also combining trains when possible, too. For example, the auto racks for Q253 were added to K603 last Saturday, which resulted in a very long train running through upstate NY. An article in Trains last year talked about the rise in longer drag freights and fewer fast freights. CSX seems to be mirroring the trend.

5. Single track CTC can support about 25 trains per day with sufficient siding capacity. CSX would have to have substantial decrease in traffic to justify single tracking the Water Level Route. Even with the reductions in train counts, CSX still needs 2 tracks on the former NYC.

EHH is a lousy CEO, but single tracking the Water Level Route won't be one of his sins.
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