The Boston & Albany route was built very early in the Railroad Era. The routing is very circuitous, built that way to minimize the grades while the Mass. Pike accepted substantial grades. I have always thought that, at least, the Worcester (Auburn) to Palmer section should be bypassed with an electrified passenger-only routing adjacent to the Pike. A shortcut to Hartford, parallel to I-84, could diverge at Sturbridge creating a Boston-NYC route shorter and faster than the Shoreline and putting Worcester and Hartford on the mainline!