Freight delays on Birmingham-Atlanta-Greenville line?

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Freight delays on Birmingham-Atlanta-Greenville line?

Postby SouthernRailway » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:19 pm

Since Amtrak's Crescent is chronically significantly delayed on the northbound Birmingham-Atlanta-Greenville line, are freight trains along this line also significantly delayed?

If so, wouldn't NS's freight business be harmed? The Crescent's delays are so severe (often hours late) that I hesitate to ride it northbound.

And if so, why isn't NS investing in additional track or whatever infrastructure or operational improvements are necessary to reduce these delays? Parts of the line (through Clemson, and maybe elsewhere) were reduced from 2 tracks to 1 track in the 1980s, and I would think that NS still owns a sufficiently wide right-of-way to make restoring a second track relatively simple.

If freight trains on this line aren't delayed like the Crescent is, then isn't Amtrak all over NS's case to reduce the delays?

I have taken the Crescent for years (since the 1970s) and it seems as though it's been only in the past few years that its northbound delays have become so major.

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Re: Freight delays on Birmingham-Atlanta-Greenville line?

Postby R&DB » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:31 pm

The Crescent delays are not just caused by NS. NS and CSX both have big yards in Atlanta and freight into/ out of and interchange traffic is very heavy. Any failures on either Class 1 can affect Amtrak. Keep in mind the Class 1's priority is hauling freight for profit, not passengers. But Amtrak does have a legitimate gripe as the host railroads are supposed to give priority to Amtrak by federal law. If Amtrak wants fewer delays, perhaps they should pay for the re-installation of double-track where it was removed by the Class 1's east and west of Atlanta many years ago when there was less traffic.
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