For my TL's Santa Fe, I was thinking they'd electrify in my TLs mid-70s. Thanks in no small part to the need to remain competitive with the Southern Pacific/Rock Island alliance, as well as its desire to reap the financial rewards enjoyed by railroads that take part in California's environmental ambitions. Since they'd still be running their own passenger trains until the 1996 of my TL, I could see the ATSF painting these electrics in the Warbonnet scene.

As for their range of operation, I could see them running between Trinidad, CO and Santa Fe, NM in my TL. As well as on all ATSF lines west of Barstow, CA. Including the Centra Valley lines and along the coast to San Diego.
 
Nice! You could write that in as part of Nixon's "Project Independence".
Another thing I'm thinking of to help ITTL would be renewal of public transport in the late 1940s and 50s as the way for commuters to get to work from the suburbs, with their cars mostly being for more leisurely things like vacation. Likewise, another thing that would help is my idea of the Small Modular Reactor and Molten Salt Reactor ideas being merged to create Molten Salt Module Plants (MSMP).
 
Another thing I'm thinking of to help ITTL would be renewal of public transport in the late 1940s and 50s as the way for commuters to get to work from the suburbs, with their cars mostly being for more leisurely things like vacation. Likewise, another thing that would help is my idea of the Small Modular Reactor and Molten Salt Reactor ideas being merged to create Molten Salt Module Plants (MSMP).
Good stuff as always
 
Thought I should be listing all my ideas for my TL's electrification. Included in this threat are ideas based on those of @TheMann, @Joe Bonkers, and my own in the Model Railroads thread.

Southern Pacific
- The Sunset Division from Colton, CA to Tucumcari, NM via Yuma and Phoenix, AZ; Deming, NM; and El Paso, TX
- The Shasta Division from Oakland, CA to Portland, OR via Redding, CA and Eugene, OR
- The Salt Lake Division from Oakland, CA to Salt Lake City, UT via Sacramento, CA; Reno, NV and Winnemucca, NV
- The San Diego Division from Glendale, CA to San Diego, CA via Anaheim, Temecula, and Escondido, CA
- The Central Valley Division from Sacramento, CA to Bakersfield, CA via Fresno, CA
- The Tejon Subivision from Santa Clarita to Bakersfield, CA via the Tejon Pass Cutoff
- The Palmdale Cutoff from Bakersfield to Colton, CA via Cajon Pass

Pennsylvania Railroad
- The Northeast Corridor from Boston, MA to Norfolk, VA via New Haven, CT; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Washington DC (via the RF&P); and Richmond and Petersburg, VA (Electrified starting in 1935, and completed in 1950)
- The Keystone Division from Atlantic, City, NJ to Canton and Steubenville, OH via Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Altoona, and Pittsburgh, PA
- The Northern Division from Harrisburg, PA to Buffalo, NY and Erie, PA via Sunbury, Williamsport, and Emporium, PA
- The ex-N&W Norfolk, Radford, Pocahontas, and Scioto Divisions from Petersburg, VA to Cincinnati, OH via Lynchburg and Roanoke, VA; Bluefield, Williamson, and Kenova, WV; and Portsmouth, OH, as well as the Radford Division from Roanoke to Bristol, TN via Radford and Abingdon, VA
- The ex-N&W Shendonah Division from Harrisburg, PA to Winston-Salem, NC via Hagerstown, MD; Front Royal and Roanoke, VA

New York Central
- The Water Level Route from New York, NY to Chicago, IL via Albany and Buffalo, NY; Erie, PA; Cleveland and Toledo, OH; and South Bend, IN
- The Ohio "3C" Division from Cleveland to Cincinnati, OH via Galion, Columbus, Dayton, and Springfield, OH
- The Boston & Albany from Boston, MA to Albany, NY via Springfield, MA
- The Central Ohio Division from Columbus, OH to Deepwater, WV via Glouster, OH and Charleston, WV
- The ex-Virginian from Roanoke, VA to Deepwater, WV via Princeton, WV

Milwaukee Road
- The entire Pacific Coast Extension west of McLaughlin, SD
- The Robert Banks Division from Vancouver, BC to Portland, OR via Seattle and Tacoma, VA

Denver & Rio Grande Western
- The entire mainline from Denver, CO to Ogden, UT via Grand Junction, CO and Salt Lake City UT (Denver - Grand Junction electrified 1948; Grand Junction - Ogden electrified 1968)

Burlington Northern
- The Cascade and Scenic Subdivisions from Spokane to Seattle, WA via Cascade Tunnel and Everett
- The Ravennea, San Hills, Butte, Black Hills, Big Horn, Casper, Front Range, Orin, Angora and Brush Subdivisions from Lincoln, NE to Denver, CO via Alliance, NE; Billings, MT; and Casper and Cheyenne, WY

Union Pacific
- The Rocky Mountain and Northwest Divisions from Ogden, UT to Seattle, WA via Pocatello and Boise, ID; and Huntington, Hinkle, and Portland, OR

Southern Railroad
- The Crescent Corridor from Washington DC to New Orleans, LA via Lynchburg, VA; Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; and Meridian, MS
- The Piedmont Sub from Kitty Hawk to Asheville, NC via Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem
- The Rathole Division from Cincinnati, OH to Atlanta, GA via Lexington, KY; and Onedia and Chattanooga, TN
- The from Memphis, TN to Bristol, TN via Corinth, MS; Huntsville, AL; and Chattanooga and Morristown, TN, with a branch from Morristown to Asheville

Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe
- The Raton and Glorieta Subdivisions from Trinidad, CO to Belen, NM via Raton, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, NM, inclduing the Lamy Cutoff from Cañoncito to Kewa Pueblo via Lamy
- The entire network west of Barstow, CA; including to San Diego via Los Angeles and Oceanside, and to Richmond via Bakersfield, Fresno, and Stockton

Florida East Coast
- The entire mainline from Jacksonville to Miami via Daytona Beach and West Palm Beach

Erie Lackawanna
- The former DL&W from Jersey City, NJ to Buffalo, NY via Scranton, PA and Binghamton, NY
- The former Alleghany & Pittsburgh from Scranton, PA to Pittsburgh, PA via Wilkes-Barre and College Station, PA (based on the @Joe Bonkers idea)

Boston & Maine
- The entire mainline from Boston, MA to St. John via Portland, Augusta, and Bangor, ME
 
Yeah that’s good, well thought out and relatively reserved. I could also see the Western Pacific and Great Northern electrify for seamless transfers to the DRGW. The PRR electrifying to Chicago would happen sooner than later to match the NYC.
 
Yeah that’s good, well thought out and relatively reserved. I could also see the Western Pacific and Great Northern electrify for seamless transfers to the DRGW. The PRR electrifying to Chicago would happen sooner than later to match the NYC.
I had thought of that too, but @TheMann pointed out that the PRR might now benefit enough in the long run. Even if said electrification happened beyond east Ohio, I'd probably have them electrify to St. Louis first, in part because of Amtrak building a southern Midwest HSR line to link St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.
 
I had thought of that too, but @TheMann pointed out that the PRR might now benefit enough in the long run. Even if said electrification happened beyond east Ohio, I'd probably have them electrify to St. Louis first, in part because of Amtrak building a southern Midwest HSR line to link St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.
Ahhhh Mann would know best. Electrify and quad track everything through government/Amtrak funds, powered by cheap nuclear built after the oil crises. Smart!
 
Realized I forgot some of the electrified lines of my TL:

Erie Lackawanna (Cont)
- The former Western Maryland/P&LE line from Baltimore, MD to Youngstown, OH via Cumberland, MD and Connellsville and Pittsburgh, PA
- The former Erie and New Haven lines from Binghamton, NY to Boston, MA via Port Jervis, NJ; Campbell Hall, NY; Waterbury, CT; and Woonsocket, RI

Illinois Central
- The entire mainline from Chicago, IL to New Orleans, LA via Carbondale, IL; Memphis, TN; and Grenada and Jackson, MS

Chessie System
- The former C&O from Kenova, WV to Washington DC via Charleston and Hinton, WV; and Clifton Forge and Charlottesville, VA
- The former CNJ/Reading/WM/B&O from Jersey City, NJ to Brunswick, MD via Reading, Harrisburg, and Chambersburg, PA; and Hagerstown, MD
- The former B&O from Washington DC to Pittsburgh, PA via Harpers Ferry, WV and Cumberland, MD.
- The former B&O from Cumberland, MD to Parkersburg, WV via Grafton and Clarksburg
 
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A new idea I thought of deriving from @TheMann is the ideal for a GTEL-5 Turbine engine that'd use the LMS100 gas-turbine generator, and can use several different fuels. In such a scenario that'd permit, I could see an oil scare caused by Saddam's actions in the early 90s scaring railroads away from oil (in my TL, this would be when UP electrifies the line through Blue Mountains to Idaho and Portland). GE takes the opportunity to introduce this new design, which takes many influences from its predecessors despite resembling an ALCO Millenium. Union Pacific, Erie Lackawanna, and Santa Fe are the first railroads to try these, with Rock Island, Chessie, BN, and Seaboard Coast Line following.
 
Though I've gone on a bit about this in the past, I though I'd detail my ideas for what several Amtrak regional HSR lines would look like by region.

Amtrak Midwest
- The primary mainline through the state of Illinois largely follows the AT&SF from Chicago to the town of Toluca. There, the two lines separate as the Amtrak route heads to downtown Peoria via the towns of Roanoke and Washington. At Peoria, the line splits.
-- The route west has the Amtrak line run to Galesburg via Kickapoo and Knoxville, next to the the BN tracks for the final miles in to Galesburg proper. In the city, the railroad makes a route where it crosses over the BN's ex-CB&Q via an overpass, then crosses over the ATSF via another overpass. The ATSF cross-over is where the Amtrak Station is, as it was built in 1984, when the ATSF was still running passenger trains (even today, the Super Chief still uses ATSF tracks for most of its route).
-- The route to St. Louis runs very closely to the GM&O lines. Running via Pekin to Springfield, then on to St. Louis via Alton, which is where the line then crosses the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area.
-- At first the Quincy Zephyr service used the BN in its entirety. However, Amtrak eventually moved the route onto its own mainline between Chicago and Peoria, and on to the TP&W from Peoria to Bushnell. At Bushnell, the train would return to BN rails for the final miles into Quincy. Though in 1997, the State of Illinois spent their own money to make this service stop at Hannibal, MO and thus become the Mark Twain Zephyr.
 
I'm not sure if this is the place, but a general train idea.
How early could streamlining trains happen and would it improve performance?
 
Recently, I thought of the idea of the Denver, Laramie, & NorthWestern achieving its vision of a Denver - Seattle network. Helped in no small part by support from the ATSF and Rock Island, both of which see it as a way to reach the Pacific Northwest.

So far, I've had the idea that in the steam days, it'd mainly used 2-6-6-4 and 2-8-8-4 articulateds on freight, with USRA designs and several 4-8-4s making up the rest of the roster. The post-steam era would then have the DL&NW use some of the diesels @TheMann inspired. Most notably, using ALCO Milleniums on fast freight, EMD diesels on heavy drags, like the GE AC100CW, which is based on the DeviantArt creation below.

As for liveries, I could see a deep purple with yellow and red lining.

 
^ Whether the Denver, Laramie and Northwestern makes any sense depends on the route. Denver has a nasty mountain range immediately to its West, which until the Moffat Tunnel was built meant it wasn't anywhere near a transcontinental rail route, and running to the North means either crossing the vast plains of Wyoming (which have little economic value until the 1970s at the earliest) and going directly against the Union Pacific Overland Route (not advisable), or going through the Rockies themselves, which would mean going toe-to-toe with the Rio Grande. I'm not sure how you could get that to work at all, particularly once the UP's route from Salt Lake City to Portland is completed in the early 20th Century.

The gas turbine idea, as I said in another thread, is better done using the LM500 system, which is much smaller and more fuel efficient but will still create tons and tons of power for the purpose, and at per load-mile fuel efficiency than conventional diesel-electrics. If you go this route, bear in mind your maintenance costs will invariably be higher and the high exhaust temperature of the turbines means care needs to be taken with areas around the locomotives, and don't bother trying to use them for anything less than long-run higher-speed service, as the efficiency advantage will be sapped by stop-start runs.
 
On the electrification fronts:
Southern Pacific

Bear in mind that to electrify the entire Sunset Route as far as Tucumcari is a huge, huge job - it would be the best part of 1000 miles of main line, and remember that the Sunset Route is divided into two most of the way from El Paso to Yuma, as the SP subsidiaries originally built for mining usually took one route, while passenger trains took the other (newer) route namely to serve Phoenix, which is entirely bypassed by the other line. As the gradients aren't bad here for most of the Sunset Route I wouldn't bother, and remember that steam engines work well on flatter terrain but in many cases struggle on mountainous routes, so unless you've got truly nuts freight demand, electrifying the lines in the Central Valley is a bit of a waste of money. Likewise, the entire Shasta and Salt Lake divisions is a little ambitious - remember that until well after World War II California regularly struggled to keep its electricity supply equal to its demand, and that diesels eliminate many of the problems electrification was primarily pursued by railroads to fight against, namely the struggle to move tonnage over tough mountain ranges. Better IMO to keep the electrification where its needed - on the Salt Lake Division, that's Reno or Winnemucca to the giant terminal at Roseville, and on the Shasta Division that's Tehama or Redding to Eugene, on either the line over Siskiyou Pass or via Klamath Falls to the east. (Or both.) From Bakersfield to Barstow and Los Angeles is easily justified, likewise on the Sunset Route as far as Yuma. The Southern California divisions are easily justifiable because of the massive freight and passenger traffic they move.

Pennsylvania Railroad

The Northeast Corridor is obvious, though I'm not sure how you got the New Haven to electrify all the way from New Haven to Boston (this wasn't done IOTL until the 1990s) and got them to make their systems compatible with PRR 11 kV electrification and cab signal systems. Make it work though, and it makes all the sense in the world, but do bear in mind any merger before WWII that gives the New Haven to the PRR is going to make the NYC and B&O go absolutely apeshit, and in the latter's case immediately ends the Royal Blue Line unless you've gotten the B&O into Penn Station or Grand Central or had them build their own New York terminal. (The idea of B&O into Grand Central isn't that nuts, but it would require some track laid on the west bank of the Hudson and a bridge across it at some point in the New York suburbs to hook it up to the NYC mains in the Bronx.)

The Keystone Division falls under the mountainous terrain point, particularly between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, though west of Pittsburgh its a little tricker to justify but going out to Steubenville and Canton is acceptable if you want to avoid backups at Pittsburgh caused by engine changes. (If you're going this way, better probably to have the electrified territory on the Chicago main line start at the junction at Alliance rather than Canton, and probably possible to run the wires north to Youngstown or Niles on the Cleveland line, or just go all the way to Cleveland itself.) I don't know enough about the PRR Northern division to make a judgement there, but if its as mountainous as the Pennsylvania Main Line justification is possible, though I'm not sure going all the way to Buffalo and Erie is possible unless the traffic demands it.

The N&W divisions get justified both by the grades and by the humongous amounts of coal traffic that go along them, though admittedly you are more or less electrifying the entirety of the N&W's main lines (aside from the Columbus Main Line and the line from Bluefield to Norton) but the freight traffic justifies it. If you want to make the Shenandoah Division electrification work I'd strongly recommend coming to an agreement with the Atlantic Coast Line to allow South-to-North freight traffic, have the ACL take the loads as far as Winston-Salem and then have the ex-N&W lines deliver it to the PRR mains at Harrisburg via Hagerstown and Roanoke. You may also want the Columbus main to get wires as well in order to expedite traffic from the south to Columbus and then along the PRR secondaries to Toledo and Detroit via Bucyrus and Carrothers.

New York Central

The entire Water Level Route would only make sense if your traffic was absolutely nuts across the entire length of it OR the NYC can be convinced somehow to try to make itself into a major passenger hauler after WWII, even as the passenger numbers in the United States drop through the floor, which is a tall ask. Diesels and four-track mains make this not easy to justify until you can come up with a workable plan for fast, very frequent passenger services after the war. Make that work though, and as soon as the passengers combine with the massive growth in fast-freight and intermodal traffic starting in the 1960s, and you may need the wires by the late 1970s or early 1980s. If you can make upstate New York that much more prosperous or extend that frequent passenger services to Toronto, Detroit or both, you can make that process happen sooner. The Boston and Albany I think falls into the same boat as the Water Level Route, though the same realities exist there if you can get passenger service the length of Massachusetts on the line and grow the fast-freight traffic on the route.

The 3C runs into the same problems, namely is traffic high enough to justify the huge cost of electrification (not really, though the line is very busy more tracks and more powerful diesels would probably be a cheaper way of handling that problem) because the terrain in that part of Ohio isn't all the difficult to deal with. The Central Ohio Division (better to call it the Appalachian Division in my mind, particularly if the Virginian is now part of the NYC system) and the ex-Virginian qualify on both fronts thanks to huge coal traffic and tough grades, particularly from Deepwater to Glouster.

Milwaukee Road

Not hard to justify here, though the Milwaukee would have to law track north from Everett to Vancouver, but the building of the Roberts Bank superport in the 1970s makes this a worthy thing to do, albeit a fairly expensive one. Likewise, the line south from Tacoma sucked, going via Maytown and Chehalis and including a monstrous hill (nearly 4% grade) when going south out of Tacoma. If that's gonna be a good North-South line for the Milwaukee, you'll want to figure out how to make that line work well.

Denver & Rio Grande Western

Good move again, and while expensive in the short term it will pay off hugely if the DRGW continues with its fast-freight operational style. If you go this route, and knowing said operating style, it may make sense to install a cab signal system of some sort to go with the electrification, and the use of a pulse code cab signal system, like the PRR system used on the Northeast Corridor, would be doable for the DRGW main line.

Burlington Northern

I have a question on the first setup - the line you mention is the former Great Northern line over Stevens Pass (I know that line well - I once drove trains over it 🙂), but does this mean you are ignoring the Stampede Pass route the Northern Pacific uses? I'd call that unwise, and ideally (if BN can afford it is the probably biggest question) you'd have both Stampede and Stevens Pass routes in service, with one being a conduit for westbound traffic and the other eastbound, as both go from the same end points, though the Stevens Pass route is rather longer. (You could also run higher-priority trains along the shorter Stampede Pass route, though you'd need to raise the clearance of both tunnels to accomodate electrification and double-stack container trains.)
Union Pacific

I'd say that this too isn't really necessary. The Northwest Divisions from Portland to Odgen mostly run in the Snake River Plain, which isn't really rough railroading territory from Pocatello to Hinkle for the most part. Better idea might be to put it on the Overland Route, particularly the stretch from Odgen to Green River, Wyoming, the stretch of railroad the Big Boy steam locomotives were built for. You could (though this would be expensive, albeit worthwhile) bite big and electrify the entire Overland Route from Cheyenne to Odgen over the Continental Divide, though again the price would be steep, particularly as you'd have to rebuild the tunnels along the way to do this.

Southern Railroad

The problem with electrifying the Crescent Corridor is that, while it is very busy, Southern was a major early investor in diesel power and the Crescent Corridor is quite flat, being that it skirts the Appalachians but never actually enters them. By the time the Southern has the desire and finances to consider such a huge project as electrifying its entire mainline, they will have just spent a fortune on diesel power and there simply wouldn't be a need for it.

The Piedmont Sub has the same issue at least until you get to Marion. Electric power would definitely be advisable on the mountain stretches of line (especially from Spartanburg to Asheville, which includes the Saluda Grade), but the Piedmont Sub you mention doesn't show up on any SR map I've seen east of Raleigh. If this assumes the original Norfolk Southern is bought by the SR this can be done by building from Elizabeth City to Kitty Hawk, but you'd need entirely new track for this, and none of this route east of Marion, NC is busy enough or tough enough terrain to justify electrification, particularly once the Southern is buying every diesel they can get their hands on. I'd pass on wires over this route.

The Rathole Division is quite another matter, though I don't think I'd bother going all the way to Cincinnatti. Danville, where the main lines to St. Louis and Cincinnatti split, would be a logical point to begin electrification on the Rathole Division. (The fact that Southern installed a CTC-equipped double-track main all the way from Cincinnatti to Chattanooga does mean that you could get this whole route electrified, though I'd be inclined focus the electrification on the east-west routes over the Appalachians.) Likewise, electrification on the Memphis-Huntsville-Chattanoga-Knoxville-Bristol route is overkill, as the route is a secondary route for the Southern and the route doesn't really charge into the mountains until east of Knoxville when the route climbs out of the Tennessee River Valleys. Morristown to Asheville (and Spartanburg and Marion) is quite doable though because of the need to go over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe

The run over Raton Pass is wise, but I'd start the wires far before Trinidad, I'd run the wires from the junction at La Junta rather than Trinidad if you're planning on running the wires all the way to Belen. As the Raton Pass line is a nasty grade and the traffic on the Santa Fe Transcon after about 1910 is absolutely massive, and knowing the ATSF on multiple occasions showed a willingness to spend a fortune on major line renewal projects, this one is very easy to justify. Again, though, I don't see a point to electrifying the lines west of Bakersfield in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, though over Tehachapi Pass obviously there is a lot of benefit and Southern California would be a wise place to invest in electrification.
 
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I would wonder how realistic a rail track from Rabat to Cairo is. The idea behind it is to bring North African States closer together and a railroad connection to Egypt where the pilgrims to Mecca and Medina end up before embarking by ship to Hedjaz.
 
I would wonder how realistic a rail track from Rabat to Cairo is. The idea behind it is to bring North African States closer together and a railroad connection to Egypt where the pilgrims to Mecca and Medina end up before embarking by ship to Hedjaz.
If it sticks to near the Mediterranean, from an engineering standpoint its not that crazy. From a political standpoint, however....yeah, it's rough.
 
Bear in mind that to electrify the entire Sunset Route as far as Tucumcari is a huge, huge job - it would be the best part of 1000 miles of main line, and remember that the Sunset Route is divided into two most of the way from El Paso to Yuma, as the SP subsidiaries originally built for mining usually took one route, while passenger trains took the other (newer) route namely to serve Phoenix, which is entirely bypassed by the other line. As the gradients aren't bad here for most of the Sunset Route I wouldn't bother, and remember that steam engines work well on flatter terrain but in many cases struggle on mountainous routes, so unless you've got truly nuts freight demand, electrifying the lines in the Central Valley is a bit of a waste of money. Likewise, the entire Shasta and Salt Lake divisions is a little ambitious - remember that until well after World War II California regularly struggled to keep its electricity supply equal to its demand, and that diesels eliminate many of the problems electrification was primarily pursued by railroads to fight against, namely the struggle to move tonnage over tough mountain ranges. Better IMO to keep the electrification where its needed - on the Salt Lake Division, that's Reno or Winnemucca to the giant terminal at Roseville, and on the Shasta Division that's Tehama or Redding to Eugene, on either the line over Siskiyou Pass or via Klamath Falls to the east. (Or both.) From Bakersfield to Barstow and Los Angeles is easily justified, likewise on the Sunset Route as far as Yuma. The Southern California divisions are easily justifiable because of the massive freight and passenger traffic they move.
Admittedly, one thing about CA in general is that I was thinking my TL's CA would achieve environmental efficiency in transport by rewarding companies that worked with them, like in electrification of trains. Yet another reason why your idea here makes more sense than my own. Hence ATSF also electrifying west of Barstow, and I also do suppose starting in La Junta is better since IIRC it was an ATSF junction point.
The entire Water Level Route would only make sense if your traffic was absolutely nuts across the entire length of it OR the NYC can be convinced somehow to try to make itself into a major passenger hauler after WWII, even as the passenger numbers in the United States drop through the floor, which is a tall ask. Diesels and four-track mains make this not easy to justify until you can come up with a workable plan for fast, very frequent passenger services after the war. Make that work though, and as soon as the passengers combine with the massive growth in fast-freight and intermodal traffic starting in the 1960s, and you may need the wires by the late 1970s or early 1980s. If you can make upstate New York that much more prosperous or extend that frequent passenger services to Toronto, Detroit or both, you can make that process happen sooner. The Boston and Albany I think falls into the same boat as the Water Level Route, though the same realities exist there if you can get passenger service the length of Massachusetts on the line and grow the fast-freight traffic on the route.
To be fair, many of my NYC ideas also factored in the eventual arrival of Amtrak, and the need for HSR.
 
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