All CSX locomotives are being equipped with PTC, so for the 60-mile Columbus-Galion line, this installation is likely limited to a trackside investment. But that investment, which averages about $100,000 per track-mile depending on local conditions, could be a $6 million investment for CSX along the Columbus-Galion line.Freight trains can go a slightly longer way around without shippers being much inconvenienced. Passengers, less so. Although Cleveland - Columbus - Cincinnati has potential as a regional corridor, Penn Central's success in getting rid of almost all the cross-Ohio trains before Amtrak continues to shape the difficulties confronting Ohio's Passenger Rail advocates.
If it had no other routing alternatives to reach Central Ohio or southern states, CSX probably would make this investment. But they do have alternatives. It can reach Columbus via their Mt. Victory (Greenwich-Bellefontaine) and Scottslawn (Ridgeway-Columbus) subdivisions. And they can reach the southern states by continuing west of Bellefontaine to Sidney, then south on CSX’s Toledo Subdivision to Dayton, Cincinnati and Dixie. Those are high-quality mainline corridors that are being equipped with PTC. There are also high-quality, interlocked (i.e., dispatcher-controlled) track connections in the southeast quadrants of the Ridgeway and Sidney junctions that will permit Galion-Columbus and Galion-Dixie trains to avoid the 3C line south of Galion without much if any infrastructure modifications.
VANDERBILT INSTALLED, CSX DESTROYS.
The mandate for positive train control induces railroads to consolidate trains on fewer routes, to reduce the total expenditure on signalling and road crossing upgrades. As a consequence, we might be seeing the end of the old New York Central directly to Columbus, Ohio.