The 2007 study by Cambridge Systematics, Inc., funded by the AAR for the Department of Transportation made some predictions for Pittsburgh to Harrisburg in 2035.
It is projected that Pittsburgh to Harrisburg will see an additional 30 to 80 freight trains a day by 2035. The 2007 study estimates that freight train number per day to be 50 to 100 per cent increase.
The additional traffic described mean that Pittburgh to Harrisburg will be operating at a volume-to capacity ratio of 70 percent of its theoretical maximum capacity. 70 percent is considered to be the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg corridor's practical capacity because a portion of the theoretical maximum capacity is lost to maintenance, weather delays, equipment failures and other factors. In 2035 the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line will have stable operations under normal conditions, but service will quickly become unstable with unplanned and unanticipated disruptions. As such, it will be close to schedule reliability deterioration. If things worsen beyond what is predicted, any disruption will be longer to recover from. Acceptable and competitive freight service will be close to being sacrifice
Today's annual 100 million ton miles for the line will possibly double to 200 million ton miles.
Today's 60 to 90 trains a day will increase to 90 to 170 trains a day.
As the addition of two conventional speed passenger trains into the existing situation would be expected to interfere with freight operations, attempting to do so in 2035 is unlikely only if conventional passenger train speed is lessened to freight train speed in order for the passenger train to integrate with freight traffic and not compete with it. The opposite of slower service would be faster freight service enabling the integration of additional passenger trains.
So it appears that additional passenger train service, let alone at higher speed levels, requires addressing freight line capacity and freight line speed first.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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