DutchRailnut wrote:Amtrak technically could never run freight, it would bite them in ass with freight railroads as was done with mail handling expansion.
That’s incorrect, Amtrak angered the freight carriers by taking m&e traffic that could be carried in very profitable Z trains and instead running it in head end cars of passenger trains that don’t even come close to paying for their track slot on that same railroad.
The topic here is high speed freight on the NEC, which is not owned by freight carriers and has no Z train traffic. Given those facts, I would next look to the trackage rights agreements with guest roads like CSX, NS, and P&W to see if there are any exclusivity clauses that could preclude Amtrak carrying goods. Finally, this assumes such traffic is profitable. On European and Japanese railroads, the short/fast freights are generally losers or marginally profitable.
As a side note, a German colleague of mine recently saw the JB Hunt train come over the BNSF northern trans con at East Glacier. He’s not into trains but was reasonably impressed with the length and speed of such a train coming off the mountain.