nick11a wrote:If the pocket track and new interlocking is indeed down there, it'll become its own new interlocking.
NJ Transit's website specifically says "relocate the West Summit interlocking." For what that is worth.
I don't understand the significance of this new pocket track. Why can't they use the tracks to the east of the station to store and turn trains? I get that a 45 mph crossover will help with moving trains through the area, especially the Gladstone trains arriving on the westbound platform (track 2?) and then needing to cross over the eastbound M&E tracks. But I don't understand the operational efficiency at turning a train west of the station vs. turning a train in the yard.
It is still likely they'll be turning trains when needed in the yard in addition to the new pocket track. At present (pre-pocket), it is possible during the rush to have 2 or 3 trains (or sometimes even more) in Summit laying over. These can include Summit locals and/or expresses to/from Hoboken or New York as well as other equipment there. Sometimes, as scheduling works out, trains need to switch ends on a main track due to all of the tracks in Summit Yard being occupied and having nowhere else to safely/efficiently do so. Having a pocket track allows for increased scheduling options and breathing room when things go awry.
One other point to consider is that all the tracks in Summit Yard are yard tracks with restrictive signals into and out of it (on the west end only) due to the slow speed switches and lack of yard track length. This keeps movements to/from the yard slow. Could NJT upgrade this? Perhaps, but not by a lot. It's hard for me to see trains getting a Medium Approach into that tiny little yard. One of the purposes of the pocket track is to get trains off the main lines and onto them in a timely fashion so as to keep the mains clear. I should think as NJT works to get this project done that they'll make sure the infastructure allows for the safe, speedy, and efficient movement of trains.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see as the project details as released to the public lack detail.