Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Increasing Passenger Trains on Keystone Corridor West

The "Keystone West Passenger Train Study" done in 2005 by the Woodside Consulting Group for the Norfolk  Southern Railroad and PennDOT examined the impact of increased rail passenger service upon freight operations. (The report is available at http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBPT.nsf/TransHomepage?openFrameset. Click on the bottom of the menu.)

To summarize the study, on an average 24 hour day, the Norfolk  Southern Railroad operates 105 freight trains across the Keystone Corridor. The current railroad line is composed of two tracks. The signal system allows for bidirectional operation on either track. In order to avoid interference with freight train operations, 66 miles of new track should be installed at various places in the Corridor.

Freight trains are operated at a slower speed than a passenger train. Without the additional track capacity described in the study, adding faster passenger trains will interfere freight operations.

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