harshaw wrote:On the new Worcester schedule there are several instances where the express train will pass the local train. In the morning this happens where the 582 passes the 504. In the evening, the 583 passes the 529. There may be some other cases. A couple of questions:
At first blush it seems that the MBTA is taking advantage of controlling the dispatching and having the ability to run two trains in one direction (which presumably they couldn't do under CSX). However, how much leeway is is there in the schedule when the inevitable delay occurs? Are there other similar passing schemes in place in the system currently - and if so how well do they work?
When you have two trains moving towards each other on the same track how much distance much there be between the two trains and the next switch? With exception of the unused tracks near the beacon yard there aren't any sidings between Back Bay and Framingham. Obviously there must be cross over points but I don't know how many.
In your second paragraph, you are referring to an overtake situation. Usually, there is not much leeway in the schedule for this move, and both trains have to be on time for this scenario to be carried out without delaying a train. Concerning the third paragraph, two trains running in opposite directions on the same track have to be in CTC territory to do that, and they can both approach a controlled signal with crossovers, stop, and look each other in the eye if that's what the dispatcher were to have them do. Obviously, the goal is to keep trains moving, so one of them will get out of the way of the other by crossing over to the other track. Happens all the time in CTC territory.