Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

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

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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:14 am

BNSF has a great map on there website of where they've installed PTC so far. The whole Southern Transcon is on it.
Last edited by Rockingham Racer on Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:22 am

Given Amtrak CEO Anderson told Congress on Thursday:

“if a train operates over routes identified by the FRA as eligible for “mainline track exclusion” (of PTC requirements) owing to light passenger traffic or lack of hazardous material freight trains, “we are currently reviewing our policy … to determine whether we have adequate safety mitigation practices in place for each territory, and in certain areas, where signal systems are not in place, we will reconsider whether we operate at all.”

At the hearing he added, “And I doubt I will.”


...does this mean the Southwest Chief might be re-routed off the Raton Pass line (assuming it has PTC exclusion) onto BNSF southern transcon line by 1/1/19 (or sooner) ?
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Tom coughlin » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:32 am

In Mr. Anderson’s testimony, he talks about a further review of operations in “dark territory”. He further states that 222 miles are dark in Indiana, Vermont, New York, Quebec and Maine. I was wondering where this territory is. I can think of:

- Maine - the short stub to reach the Portland Transportation Center off of the Pan Am freight main line. Also, the proposed route to Rockland north (TT east) of Brunswick

- Quebec - parts of the Adirondack’s route north of the NY boarder

- Vermont - the Ethan Allen’s route within the state and much of the Vermonter’s route north of White River Jct.

- New York State - the Ethan Allen’s route from Whitehall to the VT state line.

- Indiana ?

Any additions or corrections?

Here is Mr. Anderson’s testimony courtesy of “prr60” in another post.

https://transportation.house.gov/upload ... timony.pdf

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Last edited by Tom coughlin on Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Train60 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:23 am

Here's a YouTube video link [https://youtu.be/shGJhjX-rw0?t=38m42s] to Amtrak CEO Anderson's statement last Thursday to the House Transportation Committee.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:45 am

Tom coughlin wrote:In Mr. Anderson’s testimony, he talks about a further review of operations in “dark territory”. He further states that 222 miles are dark in Indiana, Vermont, New York, Quebec and Maine. I was wondering where this territory is. I can think of:
- Indiana ?
On the Cardinal/Hoosier State route.

NS does not plan on having PTC active on the Chicago Line between Toledo and Chicago until 2020 but they should have an alternate schedule in place which would allow Amtrak (and hazmat) to run on their system. Whether Amtrak runs is the question posed in scenario one. (Capital Limited, Lake Shore Limited, Michigan Services)


Tom coughlin wrote:Here is Mr. Anderson’s testimony courtesy of “prr60” in another post.

https://transportation.house.gov/upload ... timony.pdf
Already posted in this thread last night. :)
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Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby Gadfly » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:21 pm

Tadman wrote:Bloody idiotic and perhaps the end of the enterprise as we know it.

Any other company would fight this tooth and nail. Suddenly Amtrak rolls over?

If this were a real safety concern, this might be worth the gamble. But it's not. We lose less people to possibly PTC-preventable accidents in a year than we do to grade crossing accidents in one month. Some years we don't lose anybody. Heck I bet we lose more people to old age on railroad property every year than in PTC-preventable accidents.

Anyway, this may kill the enterprise, because I don't see how the deadline is going to be met. My only hope is that it cripples traffic into DC via commuter train, and they finally give up.


Thats what I thought when I first read this post. First of all, the freight railroads don't WANT passenger trains clogging up their lines. They don't want to have to handle them, period. SO they wouldn't CAREl To them, it would be a blessing to be shed of Amtrak trains! But of course, it would lead to some intense political pressure from Congress, and I'm not sure how the current one regards Amtrak! :(

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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby gokeefe » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:49 pm

The former Mountain Division segment to the PTC is not "dark" territory. It is signaled. The Rockland Branch on the other hand is another matter entirely.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:38 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:The Feres Doctrine appears to only apply to active duty military personnel.


I think you're correct... sorry.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Matt Johnson » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:20 pm

Will PTC satisfy the signaling requirement to exceed 79 mph? I wonder if any existing stretches could be bumped up to 90 with PTC in place. (Such as the long straightaway on the Norfolk route between Petersburg and Suffolk, which is begging for higher speeds! :) )
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby electricron » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:14 am

Matt Johnson wrote:Will PTC satisfy the signaling requirement to exceed 79 mph? I wonder if any existing stretches could be bumped up to 90 with PTC in place. (Such as the long straightaway on the Norfolk route between Petersburg and Suffolk, which is begging for higher speeds! :) )

Possibly, if the tracks are maintain for the higher tolerances for Class 5 tracks. There's more than signaling requirements between Class 4 and Class 5 tracks.

What are the tolerances?
Read https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/213.55
Specifically for Class 4 and Class 5 track classifications....
Tangent Track:
The deviation of the mid-offset from a 62-foot line may not be more than - (inches)
Class 4 track 1 1/2 inches, Class 5 track 3/4 inches
Curved track:
The deviation of the mid-ordinate from a 31-foot chord may not be more than - (inches)
Class 4 track 1 inches, Class 5 track 1/2 inches
The deviation of the mid-ordinate from a 62-foot chord may not be more than - (inches)
Class 4 track 1 1/2 inches, Class 5 track 5/8 inches

For operations at a qualified cant deficiency, Eu, of more than 5 inches, the alinement of the outside rail of the curve may not deviate from uniformity more than the amount prescribed in the following table:
Class 4 track 7/8 inches, Class 5 track 5/8 inches

So, in general, the tolerances for Class 5 tracks are half that of Class 4 tracks.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Railjunkie » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:18 pm

I dont think the FRA will allow speeds over 79mph without cab signals. Remember PTC is a safety overlay.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:41 pm

Railjunkie wrote:I dont think the FRA will allow speeds over 79mph without cab signals. Remember PTC is a safety overlay.

The FRA allows 80+ mph for systems with Automatic Cab Signals, Automatic Train Control, and Automatic Train Stop. If a Positive Train Control System includes an ATS or cab signal component, it should allow 90 mph. If not, then not.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Railjunkie » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:20 am

mtuandrew wrote:
Railjunkie wrote:I dont think the FRA will allow speeds over 79mph without cab signals. Remember PTC is a safety overlay.

The FRA allows 80+ mph for systems with Automatic Cab Signals, Automatic Train Control, and Automatic Train Stop. If a Positive Train Control System includes an ATS or cab signal component, it should allow 90 mph. If not, then not.



If you read my post I believe cab signals are mentioned. Use both cabs and PTC everyday. ATC, which enforces with a penalty brake application if the cab signals drops flips ect are not responded to in 8 seconds will stop the train. There is only one spot in the country where Amtrak runs on ATS, poor mans cab signals and I believe its on former Santa Fe territory.

Remember PTC is a safety overlay,I can cut the PTC system when it fails and still bebop along at MAS not exceeding 110mph governed by my cabs. Its there to prevent things like stop signal and work zone violations. Over speed conditions, it does not relieve the engineer of knowing signals and PCs for the territory which they are running on.
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Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Jishnu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:19 pm

Railjunkie wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:
Railjunkie wrote:I dont think the FRA will allow speeds over 79mph without cab signals. Remember PTC is a safety overlay.

The FRA allows 80+ mph for systems with Automatic Cab Signals, Automatic Train Control, and Automatic Train Stop. If a Positive Train Control System includes an ATS or cab signal component, it should allow 90 mph. If not, then not.



If you read my post I believe cab signals are mentioned. Use both cabs and PTC everyday. ATC, which enforces with a penalty brake application if the cab signals drops flips ect are not responded to in 8 seconds will stop the train. There is only one spot in the country where Amtrak runs on ATS, poor mans cab signals and I believe its on former Santa Fe territory.

Remember PTC is a safety overlay,I can cut the PTC system when it fails and still bebop along at MAS not exceeding 110mph governed by my cabs. Its there to prevent things like stop signal and work zone violations. Over speed conditions, it does not relieve the engineer of knowing signals and PCs for the territory which they are running on.

If one bothers to look inside a PTC equipped loco cab one quickly realizes that PTC requirements cannot be met without providing the moral equivalent of cab signal anyway. So we can split hair all we want. In fact if a track and loco is equipped with PTC it would adequately meet the so called cab signal and absolute stop requirement for allowing speeds higher than 79mph.
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Positive Train Control Compliance

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:15 pm

On a different site, some posters were concerned host railroads would again miss the PTC deadline in law. They speculated there would be no extension, and Amtrak would have to suspend service.

So, two questions:

Is there any host railroad which expects to miss the 31 December deadline?

Are there comments from Amtrak about routes not in compliance?

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