Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1
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- Location: New Zealand
I think its probably more a case of the railroads can't be bothered, its usually one train a day, why spend hours negotiating over it ?
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- Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm
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The problem we have now, besides Amtrak causing its own delays via mechanical and crew shortage shenanigans, is that some railroads have drastically reduced their physical plant in order to stay alive.
Good examples of double track routes out of Chicago since reduced to single track CTC include the MILW, IC(G), and GM&O.
At least the tradition of good passenger service on the MILW manages to persist thanks to the duality of Chicago and Milwaukee - the double track stays alive up here all the way up to milepost 104, as opposed to on the Carbondale and St Louis lines where it once quit before MP 40.
It was claimed back in the bad times that a single track CTC railroad could handle roughly 75% of the traffic a double-track ABS railroad could. It was an easy selling point by the signalling companies and installation contractors - RR traffic was down, and there was big money to be made for them if they could successfully sell the proposal.
Even in spite of contractual and managerial differences, most RR's do generally run Amtrak as best as they can. The problem is that the physical plant doesn't exist to get Amtrak around even their normal volumes of freight - not to mention periods of exceptional volume.
I'm not laying blame on the old RR's for cutting down trackage - they needed to do it to survive - but heck if that still doesn't remain the biggest dent in passenger train timekeeping today.
(I'll mostly exempt some of the big western long-haul routes, as they never were anything more than single track, and a pax delay 80 years ago on their road still would mean the same pax delay today.)
I feel that there was a failure of the public sector, during the 80s and 90s, to recognize a problem, and to step in and directly help keep up that double track mainline over which so much public commerce traversed.
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