Here's a slightly different idea:
Instead of splitting the Crescent at Meridian to create the Crescent Star, instead split the Palmetto somewhere between WAS and Selma-Smithfield, NC to create the Palm Star! This would have a schedule that looks something like:
SB Palm Star NB Palm Star
NY 5:45 23:50
WAS 10:00 19:35
RAL 15:00 14:15
CLT 18:50 10:45
ATL 0:50 4:45
MRD 5:35 0:00
DFW 17:35 12:00:00
It would have the following features:
1) Not add a train to the NEC, since it would be a lengthening of the Palmetto (which typically has six to seven cars, as I understand it, and thus underutilizes the NEC infrasctructure)
2) Daytime running between ATL and NY, admittedly with less than perfect timing in ATL
3) Good connections from the SB Star Palm to the NB Texas Eagle and vice versa, at the cost of an overnight connection to the SB TE and vice versa.
4) Adds a fourth very well timed frequency to the Piedmont route in both directions
5) Uses five train sets, if I am counting correctly, which would be something like:
sleeper, sleeper, diner, cafe, coach, coach, coach, baggage for a total of 15 cars north of the split and eight south of it.
What do you think?
ps Or _in addition to_ splitting the Crescent...
Edited by ainamkartma, 24 April 2017 - 03:35 PM.