by west point
It would appear that the condition of cross ties could make or break this proposal. At anywhere of $50 - 100 havng to replace too many might be a financial deal breaker. Additional ballast and tamping costs would be much less. If additional ballast can increease MAX speeds just 10 MPH in many locations then enroute tiimes can be reduced by an hour or more Signaling the route especially in the US can be quite expensive if PTC is necessary.