Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Raakone » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:50 am

Hi. I read that PTC will be mandated (especially due to the Chatsworth incident). Also, there are some (probably MANY) stretches of track Amtrak use that could theoretically go faster than 79MPH but they can't, due to there not being the right "protection." If PTC is mandated everywhere, might this mean that you'll have places where speed goes up to at least 90MPH? (79 -> 90 may not seem like that much...but over distance, it adds up!)

ADMIN: Topic includes both Amtrak owned and host railroads.
I am Le Ra'akone. Time for a Rail-volution.
Raakone
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:12 am
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:59 am

Speeds will pretty much stay same, no freight railroad is gone upgrade their track just for 3 or so Amtrak trains a day.
And if they do its only if Federal Government pays for track upgrades.
The PTC implementation would only benefit safety.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 22134
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby lpetrich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:05 am

Or a state government, for that matter. Most of Amtrak's short-distance trains are supported by the states that they run in.
lpetrich
 
Posts: 1257
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby Mike S. » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:10 pm

I was hoping so. I thought the CSX mainline from Buffalo to near SDY (before it becomes under amtrak control) was Class V. At least many years ago.

See Page 8 of this crash investigation: http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/1996/RAR9602.pdf

So...all CSX bashing aside...anyone know if they've downgraded the track to Class IV from Class V?

An 11mph bump in many places would be nice over the 4 hour time from Buffalo to SDY.

Mike S.
Mike S.
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:43 pm

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:10 pm

How much of the Buffalo to Schenectady is at 79mph vs much slower speeds?
Check out QuiCR, Quick, Crowdsourced Responses for businesses.
Greg Moore
 
Posts: 5264
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:15 am
Location: IT Consultant

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby Mike S. » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:13 pm

Well IIRC, much of it is operated at 79mph. Sure...I think that there are a few spots that are taken slower than 79mph for curves, but mostly, its full speed running. I think I know where you might be going with this that slower than 79mph turns will be no faster with a higher permitted track speed. However, take buffalo rochester...from BUF to Batavia, NY (halfway between BUF and ROC) it is basically straight on runing...almost 40 miles.

BUF to ALB is 290 track miles and done in 4h55m = ~58mph average speed. If the average can be bumped to say 68mph the total time requied would be ~4h15m, a reduction of almost 45mins. That would help the empire line reach a very realistic and doable mission of 2h from NYC to ALB, 4h to SYR and 6h to Buffalo.
Mike S.
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:43 pm

Re: 90 mph vs 79

Postby timz » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:27 pm

Mike S. wrote:BUF to ALB is 290 track miles and done in 4h55m = ~58mph average speed. If the average can be bumped to say 68mph the total time requied would be ~4h15m, a reduction of almost 45mins.


90 mph saves 5.6 seconds per mile, compared to 79 mph. If you're hoping to save 40 minutes by increasing the 79 limit you'll have to find 430 miles of track to increase it on.

By the way-- far as the FRA is concerned, if the track is good for 60+ mph freight it's good for 90 mph passenger.
timz
 
Posts: 1717
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:04 pm
Location: Oakland CA

Re: 90 mph vs 79

Postby Mike S. » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:45 pm

Yes and know. You need to talk in terms of average speed. The figures you quote above are an 11mph increase...but you're already starting at 79mph. If you were traveling 1mph for 200 miles, it would take 200hours. Travel 11mph and it would take 18hours, a savings of 182 hours, just by going a lousy 10mph faster. The faster you're already going, the less 10 or 11mph means.

So all that said, I checked my math again, and getting the AVERAGE speed up about 10mph would save almost 45mins between the 2 city pairs.
Mike S.
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:43 pm

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby Jersey_Mike » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:58 am

Many stretches of track already operate with cab signals, but class 4 track prevent anything higher than 80mph. This PTC nonsense will probably create more of a headache for Amtrak as railroads become resistant to passenger traffic that will require PTC. Frankly I don't blame them, if the Feds are going to over react and require expensive technology with limited safety benefits Amtrak should be presented with the bill or face being kicked off.
Jersey_Mike
 
Posts: 4689
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:39 am
Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby orulz » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:31 am

The PTC mandate covers not only lines that carry passenger traffic, but freight lines that carry "hazardous cargo" as well. To the best of my knowledge, that would mean basically every mainline railroad in the country, not even taking the passenger trains into account at all. The freight roads would have to upgrade most of their lines anyway, even if it weren't for passenger trains.
orulz
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:55 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby Jersey_Mike » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:44 pm

Not all hazardous cargo, only that which provides a risk of inhalation hazard, which is basically the chlorine tank cars and a few others, operating on main lines . It is a conceivable option for railroads to simply refuse shipment of those cargoes (or route them via secondary/branch lines) and then demand Amtrak pay for PTC upgrades. Carload freight is a marginal business at best and I am sure the Class 1's would love to teach the regulators a lesson and simply force all those hazardous loads onto the nation's roads than act as a charity for the handful of water treatment plants that take delivery of chlorine loads. Remember, the ICC assumed that its ATS regulations would bring widespread use of cab signals and related safety systems when in reality the railroads just lowered speeds and didn't care.

Like SEPTA's debacle with CBTC we'll see some pilot programs, they won't work, railroads will buck at the costs and under the thread of the suspension of passenger and chemical loads the rule will have to be weakened or repealed.

Reactionary legislation is always a bad idea. Not only does this PTC crap risk costing billions just to save a handful of lives it risks completely showing down the national freight network driving more loads onto the highways.
Jersey_Mike
 
Posts: 4689
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:39 am
Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9

Re: 90 mph vs 79

Postby timz » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:30 pm

Mike S wrote:getting the AVERAGE speed up about 10mph would save almost 45mins between the 2 city pairs [i.e. Buffalo-Albany].

It would, if you could-- but you can't. Not by increasing the maximum from 79 to 90.

429 miles at constant 79 mph = 326 minutes

429 miles at 90 mph = 286 minutes
timz
 
Posts: 1717
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:04 pm
Location: Oakland CA

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby LIRR272 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:57 pm

Believe it or not the freights are activily pursuing PTC projects. They have even asked Amtrak what they must do to enter the NEC since ACSES is used on the corridor. Most of the operations is standard but what needs to be worked out is the interoperability of the systems. Meaning once a CSX locomotive enters NS territory, how does the NS system communicate with the CSX locomotive. Amtrak faces similar challenges. I don't think you will see any pilot projects, since three of the four carriers have agreed to use the same system. The other carrier has come onboard recently.

In Michigan, a PTC project is under way called ITCS. It hasn't been living up expectations, but a few changes have been made which will make some people happy. In fact the portion that is used is under Amtrak control with NS as the guest. Which meant NS had to comply with what Amtrak was using in this territory.
LIRR272
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Elmont NY

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby hi55us » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:22 am

Does amtrak us any form of ACES (or PTC) on it's Detroit corridor? (basically the only track that Amtrak owns outside of the NEC)

I think that we have stated in other threads that PTC dosen't work for a 50 car freight train, that it is almost an art form to get a train of this length to a stop, or to accelerate.
User avatar
hi55us
 
Posts: 2336
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: May mandated PTC = slightly faster Amtrak trains?

Postby jb9152 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:12 pm

Amtrak uses ITCS (Incremental Train Control System) in Michigan. It extends from New Buffalo to Kalamazoo, MI, on the Chicago to Detroit corridor owned by Amtrak.
jb9152
 
Posts: 1836
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:15 pm

Next

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], mtuandrew and 9 guests