Moderators: TAMR213, keeper1616
scratchyX1 wrote: ↑Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:05 pmThey ripped it up and sold it off, gaining some much-needed cash as well as shedding the tax burden. (Is there any record that Amtrak actually expressed interest in acquiring the route? Lots of people talked about restoring passenger service, but I never heard that Amtrak was interested in taking it on). People tend to overlook that Conrail was created as a freight railroad with no involvement in passenger service. The guiding principle at USRA was that Uncle Sam was not gonna buy anything from the estates of the bankrupt railroads that was not actively being used for freight service. The only reason the Cutoff made it into the FSP was that it was being so used at the time. When Conrail determined that the combination of Pocono grades and NY&GL grades and curves through the succession of Montclairs made it inferior to the Port Jervis route (Gulf Summit and New York State's full-crew law notwithstanding), it had no legal right, let alone obligation, to "land bank" it for hypothetical passenger use sometime in the future. New Jersey did buy the land back, with little result, as covered at length in relevant forums. Arguably there was merit in preserving the route, but the responsibility to do so was not Conrail's.photobug56 wrote: ↑Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:25 pm Conrail. They knew at the time that people wanted to restore passenger rail. Nasty choice.They ripped it up, knowing that amtrak was looking for using it.
Could have given it over, and be rid of the tax burden.
XBNSFer wrote: ↑Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:44 pmGiven similar government largesse to repair infrastructure and locomotives, similar labor reforms, and the ability to unload commuter operations, considerably more of the northeast's rail infrastructure might have been saved, and more of it likely built up to more expeditiously and reliably move today's rail traffic. Conrail's virtual monopoly on northeast rail traffic, and its zeal to defend it to the death, combined with the "cost cutting" mentality that was carried way too far, resulted in a "minimalist" system that can't provide service good enough to keep northeast highways from being jammed with tractor trailer traffic today.
This is Conrail's legacy. Too much rail infrastructure was destroyed, too little improvement and capacity expansion was done on routes that were critical, and northeast railroading is less than it should be today. Neither CSX nor Norfolk Southern has routes that are as direct or as fast as the NYC and PRR had more than half a century ago, and that's pretty sad.
As for specific routes, I'll say in general I still think there should never have been a monopolistic "Conrail" to begin with; the "Penn" and "Central" should have been separated, since the P-C merger was anti-competitive and never should have happened to begin with, and the ex-NYC and ex-PRR should have served as the "skeletons" to build two competitive northeast "systems" on, replacing bits lost to Amtrak or commuter rail with alternate lines from other roads being included in the "solution," but with infrastructure built up so that the major arteries were all high capacity, high clearance, and high speed lines to the extent possible.If the concept and practice of a single-system Conrail lead to a diminished rail network in the Midwest and Northeast 22 years out, then beyond some general comments about tractor trailer traffic or expeditious and reliable movement, what market(s) are CSX and NS limited or unable to participate in as an exception within the Class 1 industry as a result?
Given the notion that competitive rail access in the northeast was the goal, certainly once "self sufficiency" was achieved, big "regrets" that stick out might include the downgrade/removal of the ex-PRR Crestline to Chicago main line as a through route, and the similar removal or downgrade of the ex-NYC and ex-PRR (alternating) Indianapolis to St. Louis routes. As for the "if Conrail still existed as an independent railroad" scenario, I doubt they regretted ripping up anything - to Conrail, less northeast rail infrastructure was protective of their monopoly.