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Old Posted Jan 10, 2013, 9:12 AM
Alon Alon is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 219
Metuchen is not fine and cannot handle 140 mph. The current limit is 100 mph (I can forward you the track map with the speed limit), and there's very little room for increasing that with higher cant limit. Go to Google Earth and compute the curve radius; it's not one that any train in regular revenue service in the world can safely take at 140 mph.

The point of not building gratuitous tunnels like Market East and the transition tunnels from New Rochelle to I-84 is that at $100 billion, it's not worth it and Congress will never find the money. At $10 billion, it becomes a realistic possibility. On the margin, the question should always be "how many minutes does this extra $100 million save?", and the answer toward the end is measured in seconds. The B & P replacement saves about 1.5 minutes using Acela trainsets, or about 2 using more modern stock (the better the trains accelerate, the worse a speed limit in the station throat affects travel time), and is estimated to cost $750 million. With the capacity gains, and the reduced squeal coming from lack of very tight curves, and the reduced maintenance costs coming from said squeal, it becomes worth it. The Market East tunnel, in comparison, is about $10 billion for another 2 minutes of time savings relative to straightening Frankford within ROW and squeezing extra speed out of the existing line.
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