Increasing speed limits on the NEC

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Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
737
Location
Lubec, ME
Recent trip from NYP to BOS on Acela, I had forgotten how SLOW this and other trains actually go between New Haven and New Rochelle, YET we still came in to New Haven TEN MINUTES under the advertised on the schedule - during rush hour. I’m not sure if we ever hit 70 mph - it was stop and go the whole time. We were even TEN MINUTES early into Boston. Been a long haul of upgrades on this section, and over a pretty long time. Not sure how close progress is towards some sort of improvement. But long over due and now with recent speed increases and work done on other portions of NEC, this section really stands out - to me at least. Good show though overall, with Acela and onboard staff….
There are a couple of factors here. One is that this segment is owned and dispatched by Metro North and is therefore optimized for the running of commuter service for which speed is less of an issue due to frequent stops. It is also a very busy railroad, probably the busiest in the county. I think they do try to keep Amtrak moving but if an Amtrak is a few minutes late and loses its slot on this busy piece of railroad it can get delayed further.

Another factor is that this segment has been perpetually under construction due to the need to catch up with decades of deferred maintenance, including replacement of catenary and bridges. This often requires tracks be taken out of service and what is normally a 3 or 4 track railroad is down to 2 tracks in some places.

A third factor is that the right of way is fairly curvy to begin with and has lots of bridges with slow speed limits.

In short, while someday the maintenance will get caught up and that may help, I don't think you will ever see speeds more than say 80 mph on this segment.
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
3,472
Location
SW ATL airport
Was the trip on a weekend? Also is one track already out of service over Walk bridge ? Once that happens a schedule lengthening wis called for. The full interlocking east of the bridge as I read the MNRR buletins is not complere which is limiting when Walk does not have a full 4 tracks in service.
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,603
Location
NHV
Was the trip on a weekend? Also is one track already out of service over Walk bridge ? Once that happens a schedule lengthening wis called for. The full interlocking east of the bridge as I read the MNRR buletins is not complere which is limiting when Walk does not have a full 4 tracks in service.
I can probably recall all four tracks being operational on the New Haven Line a handful of times over the the last several years. Bridge plates are left leaning up on the platforms because they're used so often.
 
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