ApproachMedium wrote:Its very possible. the NEC subsations are good for 25 miles. Theres one pretty much a lot less than 25 miles between each. There used to be one down on the other side of CP Viriniga but instead of fixing the corroded wires in the tunnels they forced high speed trains to not be able to full throttle out of dc. Till they finally caved and installed one in Ivy City. There should be more than enough capacity down that way. The penn overbuilt their stuff. The Reading, not so much.
The Pennsy electrification was built for both passenger AND freight. Old farts like me remember electric freight trains running on the corridor pulled by GG1's, E33's and E44's. The Tropicana Juice train was the heaviest electric freight train on the corridor and it used three E44's. Back in my tower days I would watch the amp meter on the power board at Landover as a heavy freight train climbed Lanham hill. Conrail dropped electric freight operations in March of 1981. So yes, there's plenty of capacity for what Amtrak and MARC are running on the south end.
As for the power situation on the south-end, yes the substation at Virginia Avenue was decommissioned due to the rebuilding of the Virginia Avenue tunnel and the fact that CSXT wanted the high voltage cables out of the tunnel. Power for Union Station and the Ivy City yards was sent down the freight line from Landover to the sub station at Virginia Avenue. From there underground cables delivered the power to Union Station. To replace this setup Amtrak erected new poles carrying transmission lines between Landover and Union Station (Magruder Branch).
As far as the Reading is concerned, they never had electric freight locomotives. The Readings electrification was solely for EMU's. I believe there was only one substation located at Wayne Junction that fed the entire Reading side system with some noticeable voltage drops towards the ends. I think Septa has added capacity power wise on the "Reading" side what with AEM7's and ACS64's now running through the center city tunnel.
RRD: The Reading "power plant" at Wayne Junction did feed the entire Reading electrification with
high voltage power that was stepped down at substations on the various electrified routes. Those
substations were noticeably smaller then anything that the PRR/PC had - my favorite example was
the small one just south of Doylestown. This is explained in some detail in the book "Electric Trains
to Reading Terminal" by Wes Coates.
SEPTA discovered that their motors draw as much power as 8 MU cars and because of the limits of
the Reading-side electrification only two push-pull trains could be north of the phase gap between
their two power sources (near the Temple University Station) at any given time. In recent years
there have been upgrades to the RDG side power distribution to allow more locomotive hauled
trains to operate when it is necessary. With SEPTA's new ACS64 motors now currently being placed
into service along with 45-55 new multilevel cars still to come there will be more push-pull trains
scheduled in the future...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS