Jeff Smith wrote: ↑Thu May 13, 2021 8:02 amElectricTraction, we do have a thread on Devon Transfer here as well. My thoughts are that Devon Transfer would be just that; where branch trains would terminate and turn, thus not fouling the main line. It would be purely a transfer station; no parking required, with platforms on both sides of the wye, along the main line, and an overpass to a platform eastbound on the main.
Some trains would definitely terminate at Devon Transfer, that's the whole point of it, whether all of them terminate there, that depends on Barnum and other factors. It would certainly be possible to split Waterbury three ways between trains that terminate at Devon Transfer, trains that continue on to Bridgeport or even Stamford, and trains that continue to New Haven. The part that's relevant to the Milford question are the trains that would turn towards New Haven, but due to the Eastbounds crossing over at grade, and the relatively infrequent nature of the service, they just don't have much impact on a potential need for a fourth track.
I completely agree that there should be some type of Waterbury service eastbound to New Haven; CTDOT is waking up to intrastate commuting options.
It's a bit of an odd service, probably not the first thing I'd think of just looking at commuter service, but of the various potential improvements in that area, going to New Haven would be a very low-cost connection, as the trains end up turned that way at Devon Transfer anyway, and Union Station has plenty of room. Adding a bit more critical mass to SLE and Hartford Line rail access to New Haven might also be an impetus to improving transit locally around downtown, Yale, and Union Station. It would also provide more Amtrak connections to Boston, Vermont, and Washington.
To bring us back to Milford: I'm not familiar at all with the traffic at Milford, or the throughput. Certainly, a fourth track would have to help, even if not necessary.
If something is running way late, it might avoid something else occasionally having to wait a few minutes, but from a capacity perspective, the Devon-Orange section just isn't a limiting factor for anything. If more capacity were needed, that additional crossover at CP266 or possibly a few other CP reconfigurations would be a middleground solution that doesn't require demolishing half of Milford station, destroying 75 parking spots, and disrupting the switching for the construction debris loading facility in Milford. I do, however, think CTDOT/MN did the right thing with West Haven and Orange (if they ever build it) stations in that they are building them with 4 tracks, so that they don't end up blocking the 4th track if it's ever needed. The 4th track in West Haven and Orange may provide some marginal benefit as well.