3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadline

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3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadline

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:01 am

BNSF is going to make it though.

The Columbian

WASHINGTON — Three of the biggest freight railroads operating in the U.S. have told the government they won’t meet a 2018 deadline to start using safety technology intended to prevent accidents like the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia last May.

Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern say they won’t be ready until 2020, according to a list provided to The Associated Press by the Federal Railroad Administration. Four commuter railroads — SunRail in Florida, Metra in Illinois, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Trinity Railway Express in Texas — also say they’ll miss the deadline.

The technology, called positive train control or PTC, relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing due to excessive speed or about to enter track where crews are working or that is otherwise off limits.

The other four other Class I freight railroads that operate in the U.S. — Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern — and more than a dozen commuter railroads have told the agency they will meet the 2018 deadline.
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Re: 3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadli

Postby YamaOfParadise » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:25 pm

Not surprised. They still shouldn't extend it, again, though; they really just need to get legally-binding agreements on a reasonable timeframe to get this done, to prevent any railroad (be they public or private in ownership) from just kicking the can down the road more.
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Re: 3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadli

Postby ExNYC63 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:48 pm

YamaofPadise,

You are completely ignorant of the technical problems involved. Much of the software
has not even been perfected and when it does come on line it is alreay obsolete.
Pluse the fact that this is an "unfunded mandate". All this while the airlines get
their free air traffic control. You should know what you're talking about before
you clutter up these discussinons with yout ignborant nonsense!
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Re: 3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadli

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:52 pm

ExNYC63 wrote:YamaofPadise,

You are completely ignorant of the technical problems involved. Much of the software
has not even been perfected and when it does come on line it is alreay obsolete.
Pluse the fact that this is an "unfunded mandate". All this while the airlines get
their free air traffic control. You should know what you're talking about before
you clutter up these discussinons with yout ignborant nonsense!


Uncalled for. And you should try spell-checking the word "ignorant" if you're going to flame somebody with that accusation without making yourself look silly.


Firstly, "has not even been perfected" says zero about the difference between UP, BNSF, KCS, and CP projecting compliance by the deadline but not CSX, NS, or CN. Especially not CN, which has the fewest track miles in the U.S. of any Class I. CSX and NS are using the same I-ETMS system that UP and BNSF are installing. They are all facing equal debugging hurdles, but that does not explain why CSX and NS are lagging so far behind UP and BNSF.

Secondly, CSX and NS also have much higher % of their systems under trackage rights to passenger routes where Amtrak or the NEC member states own their own the passenger lines. The states are the ones spending the money and racing against the deadline for those installations, including the ones where the passenger ACSES system and the freight I-ETMS system have to be co-installed and made interoperable. The only commuter railroad that projects to miss the 2020 deadline extension is the MBTA. That could indirectly affect about 10 miles of NS territory because their Pan Am Southern joint venture is under-the-gun...but it does not affect CSX because the MBTA southside is projected to meet deadline. The other Class I's are somehow getting this done with little to no territory where they have to be subservient to a passenger landlord's deadline progress.


That doesn't mean the reasons for the delays aren't wide and varied. It's very complicated. But those three carriers are out of line with the other 4 Class I's comprising vast majority of the PTC-eligible route miles in the U.S., who have equally complex implementation hurdles to overcome. It is not a nonsense line of inquiry in the slightest to probe what's different about CSX's, NS's, and CN's rate of progress.
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Re: 3 big freight railroads to miss safety technology deadli

Postby newpylong » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:09 am

I agree with ExNYC63 - If the government wants to see PTC they should help pay for it. The airlines get plenty...

I cannot speak for CN but the predecessor railroad stew that NS and CSXT have on their systems trumps what the Western Class I's have to deal with. PTC installation is going to take longer.
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