Several years ago KCS and NS jointly spent over $300 Million to upgrade the KCS Meridian Speedway between Shreveport, LA and Meridian, MS. As a result, CSX, KCS, and NS moved their Dallas/Atlanta traffic that had been running through New Orleans up to the Speedway, saving at least a half day's transit time. That created a choke point on the NS single track between Meridian, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham where #19 and #20 are put into the hole two, three, even four times each run for freight traffic. The last two times I rode just this fall, we had to back out of sidings because there were freights ahead of us on the same siding. I rode #20 on Thanksgiving Day in the hopes there would be less freight traffic due to the holiday, but we were still over an hour down into Atlanta due to freights.
The only way this can be solved is for NS to double-track their line between MEI and BHM, which I doubt will happen.
Edited by Hytec, 17 December 2017 - 03:17 PM.