Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's Raise the Roof

Gary at First and Court highlights a Wall Street Journal article on the "resurgence of rail" (primarily freight) in the US.

An interesting item in the Journal article caught my eye: Norfolk Southern's "Heartland Corridor" plan, which spends $260 million, in part to raise the roofs of several tunnels in Virginia and West Virginia to allow double-stacked container cars to pass through.

That reminded me that the desire to restore service on the West Shore Line always runs into the problem that there's one tunnel that's only high enough for double-stacked trains in the middle. Conrail tore up one track and moved the remaining track to the middle of the tunnel, and now its successor Chessie won't give up that ability to run double-stacked trains. But if Chessie's competitor Norfolk Southern is doing this in Virginia, maybe Chessie will do it here.

Restoring two tracks on the West Shore would allow for the resumption of passenger service not only to Teaneck and Orangeburg, but all the way up the river to large West Shore towns like Newburgh, Kingston and Albany, and better service to Bear Mountain. From Kingston and Albany there are other interesting possibilities as well ...

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