On the upgraded portion of track, scheduled running time for the Vermonter would be reduced by about a half hour, and passenger-train track speeds in signaled territory would increase from 59 to 79 miles per hour. In addition, the upgraded track would be capable of handling 286,000-pound freight cars. Currently the track is restricted to 263,000 pounds.
"The increased freight-load capacity will greatly improve NECR's competitiveness," said Charles Hunter, RailAmerica's Director of State Relations - East. "The Class-One industry standard for freight-load capacity is 286,000 pounds. With these upgrades, we will now be able to transport intermodal traffic received from the Class Ones in the '286K' cars generally used for trans-continental moves."