Jtgshu wrote:They definatley look like high speed crossovers, and i doubt that Amtrak and NJT would spend all this scarce cash on simply building crossovers that are identical to whats currently there. They are 45mph crossovers there right now. The new switches im pretty sure have moveable point frogs as well, which are used in high speed crossovers, but of course, thats not an absolute thing. In case anyone doens't know, there is a new set of crossovers being installed east of the existing crossovers at County interlocking.
Could be HS crossovers, then, absolutely. But add to the cost of the new interlocking the cost of adding the Cab 60 and Cab 80 aspects to the signal system (which currently doesn't support them). Re-design control lines, re-wire the CIHs - it's not a small job. That's why I'm a little skeptical. But I hope it's true! HS crossovers at County would fix a few problems, not the least of which is the knock-down you get at the distant signal.
Jtgshu wrote:You are ignoring track 3 through this area (eastbound) and track 2 (westbound) both are signalled in both directions and can be used. I gotta question the whole track 2 being at capacity. East of Elmora, there are 4 tracks as well, and you have to include Coast Line trains in there as well. Trains are fluid thorugh there, ive been in North Elizabeth with 3 other trains passing at the same time. It takes some creative dispatching, but it can be done, but of course, there are slightly slower speeds (accelorating or decelorating for the S curves) but the speeds through there are still 100 (for NJT equipment) on 2 and 3. I remember seeing in print somewhere on here, that a station stop would be added for the N or S Brunswick stop for NEC trains (of course not all in peak times) - MOM would stop there, and give express service for those passengers to Newark, and not necessarily free up room, but rather, not add any more riders to the PJ, Ham or Trenton express trains.
I know that there is 261 signaling on 2 and 3 Tracks. That's a good point, but you still have to get over to 3 Track somewhere to run express. It's generally not done west of Union because that leaves you only one track westbound for all NJT revenue, non-revenue, and Amtrak trains. But it's worth looking into, certainly.
The question of Track 2 being "at capacity" is complex. While it's not technically run at capacity, the fact that NJT trains cannot stay out ahead of Amtrak trains (especially Acelas, but even the Regionals) means that you have to schedule a train farther out ahead of an Amtrak the further west it merges with the NEC. So, to maintain, say, a 2 minute spacing at Newark Penn, you might have to get the train onto the NEC 10 minutes ahead of the Amtrakker. Doing so wastes slots on Track 2, but it's the only way to stay out of Amtrak's way. Right now the 3900s are scheduled to get out ahead of some Amtraks, but if they fall even slightly behind, CETC is likely to stick them on 1 Track to a point farther east like County or Lincoln until they can be overtaken by the Amtrak train. Operating those trains on 1 Track, of course, means that you have to compete for slots with middle zone trains coming out of Jersey Avenue. Oh, and don't forget the 6 minutes of headroom you have to give the cross-the-plant move at County for those middle zone trains. It's really a house of cards, and I can't see how inserting yet another slow (from a relative standpoint) NJT diesel or dual mode into the mix will make it any better.
Jtgshu wrote:Amtrak HATES locals - they would much rather put you on a track and get rid of you. If they had the chance, (no acela coming) they could LOVE to put a MOM train on track 2 or 3, let them run at 100mph all the way up to Newark Airport or better yet, Newark Penn.
Yes and no. Amtrak doesn't hate locals that run on 1 and A Tracks. They don't really have to worry about them - just let them run 1 and A and stop where the schedule says they stop; once they're on the track, the dispatcher doesn't have to worry about them, really. It's the trains on 2 and 3 Tracks that give them fits. They have to watch those trains to make sure they stay out ahead of Amtrak, and don't cause any cascading signal delay behind. The last thing they want is for an Amtrak train to see a less favorable than Clear signal (unless they're diverging at Menlo / Iselin, Midway, or Fair); to be clear - they don't want the Amtrak trains running up behind the NJT trains and as a result seeing a less than best possible aspect.
Jtgshu wrote:I would also expect Midway to be totally rebuilt with all this, including high speed crossovers, allowing 80mph. the express from PJ east would cross over from 1 to 2, while the MOM train was makign a station stop at S or N brunswick, then cross over to 2 at the other end of the interlocking or at a new interlocking, or at county, and follow the 3900 train up. With higher speeds at teh interlockings and crossovers, the dispatchers might not be so hesitant to cross trains over ad around others, especially NJT trains, considering MU's woudln't even need to slow down, and push pulls would only have to slow down 20 mph (100 to 80), not get down to 45, which usually ends up about 25 by the time the breaks finally release, 2 miles before the cross over. Thats why it takes so long to cross over at Midway or County - its HORRIBLE..........
As my son says, YEAH it is. I believe that a rebuilt Midway is part of the Monmouth Junction alternative, and the move you describe is definitely credible. I still question whether the real problem is the crossover, or simply staying out of Amtrak's way.
Jtgshu wrote:As a side note, there are other locations where you get a "cab speed" for a high speed crossover - outside of 562 territory - In Lane intelocking, track 1 to A on the top of the flyover, and track 5 into track 4. The cab speed signal allows 80mph over teh switch.
Yep. Those moves were put in when the EWR station was designed. I'd love to see more of it. I'd love to see Cab 60 and Cab 80 extended down the Corridor, actually.
Jtgshu wrote:But speaking of County (yard), whos to say that it will even been there when MOM opens up? Crossing all the tracks as slow as they do might not even be an issue anymore because the yard might be shut down and moved to M-ville - who knows???? - im sure CTEC 8 would be THRILLED to not have to clog up his whole railroad with crossover moves at County
Oh yeah! They might even take up a collection at CETC to help pay for that one!
One of the other things I've heard mentioned, but not in a long time, is replacing County with a new facility located off Corridor, on the Monmouth Junction alignment. Wire down through the wyes and new westbound tunnel to the new yard, and you'd have a crossing-move free way to get those pesky middle zone trains onto the road.