by QB 52.32
taracer wrote: ↑Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:25 pm The MBTA's plans are ambitious and will require more track, but the old 251 wouldn't be able to handle it either.Important to Conrail's decision in executing the plan for upgrading the B&A's traffic control, resulting in single tracking, was that the block signal system was deemed to be at the end of its useful life including an inherent safety risk of a technology with moving parts providing the aspects. IIRC, late 1970's /early 1980's a rear end collision in South Spencer was found to have been caused by a bad aspect displayed on a single-head block signal.
Amtrak and MA DOT's plans are ambitious: with a $2-3 billion political commitment to the project and powerful access to the big Federal infrastructure resources now available, this is probably just the start. 10-25 years out likely the B&A Worcester to Springfield will be doubletracked with triple track South Spencer-East Brookfield and 7-9 passenger train pairs operating over the territory at close to 45% 50-69 MAS and 55% 70-89 MAS. Beyond that, given the potential, there's always a chance for high-speed and additional passenger trains, including extension of MBTA commuter rail into the Brookfields.
As an aside and offering for consideration made in the spirit of curiosity to learn, if there is at least one thing fans and those inexperienced in the practice of the for-profit railroad business might try to understand or appreciate about railroads and their behavior beyond criticism it's the centrality of their unique private ownership of infrastructure and with it the management challenge of making investments in expensive assets lasting 25-50 years with an overall healthy return exceeding their cost of capital. I don't believe Conrail ever made the hurdle and CSX management fell 24% short as defined by regulators 2001-2017 with achievement only occurring with a change and application of Hunter Harrison's PSR principles.