CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan 1

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CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan 1

Postby Max Power » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:27 pm

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit ... /72085824/

WASHINGTON — New York City would have to find other options for hauling municipal waste to landfills if CSX follows through on a threat to stop operating on Metro-North tracks in January.

That’s among the consequences CSX and other freight lines say will result if Congress fails to extend a Dec. 31 deadline for installing new accident avoidance technology knows as “positive train controls.”

Congress is expected to address the deadline by Oct. 29, when the latest short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund expires.

A six-year transportation reauthorization bill passed by the Senate in July would extend the PTC deadline until the end of 2018. To qualify for an extension, each railroad would have to submit an installation plan by the end of the year to the U.S. Transportation Department, including interim milestones.

The Senate legislation would also provide $200 million from the Highway Trust Fund to help railroads pay for installation and would authorize another $570 million.

Several freight and commuter railroads have written congressional lawmakers over the last week, highlighting the consequences of a failure to extend the deadline.

“CSX is seriously considering suspending freight operations’’ on commuter rail lines that don’t have PTC operational by Jan. 1, CSX Chairman and CEO Michael Ward wrote.

Among them: Metro-North in New York and Connecticut, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in New England, METRA in metro Chicago, SunRail in central Florida and Tri-Rail in south Florida.

Without “a reasonable extension,’’ Ward said, “any accident involving Amtrak, commuter or TIH (toxic inhalation hazards) products would expose CSX to huge potential liability for operating in violation of federal law.’’

CSX could also suspend Amtrak's use of the freight line's tracks, affecting as many as 13 million passengers a year.

Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road are among a half-dozen commuter rail lines that expect to begin testing PTC by the end of 2016, according to a survey released in August by the Federal Railroad Administration. But testing falls short of full certification for their entire track systems, which wouldn’t come until 2018.

PTC could have prevented the deadly derailments of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia May 12 and a Metro-North commuter train in the Bronx in December 2013 by automatically slowing them as they approached a curve, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

“FRA’s use of its enforcement tools will be targeted to maximize safety, save lives in the event of an accident and bring railroads into compliance,’’ the August report said. “Certain enforcement actions, such as prohibiting service on specific routes, may potentially result in sustained and disruptive impacts on the movement of freight and passengers in those locations until full implementation is achieved.’’

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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby ccutler » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:48 pm

Nice work by our government to make sure railroads are forced to be in violation of one law or another. That's how Russia is run.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby DogBert » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:45 am

ccutler wrote:Nice work by our government to make sure railroads are forced to be in violation of one law or another. That's how Russia is run.



Truth.

I'm sure other carriers are thinking the same things (going to be mighty hard for Amtrak to run anywhere outside of NEC), so that deadline *should* get pushed back. I say should, because these days even a no brainer decision in DC isn't a sure bet.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:35 pm

This mandate is about to make the whole rail Industry a big mess,sooner or later the STB and the congress critters
will have deal with the mess the congress critters created.
As I understand it,Amtrak,and Metrolink(SCAX) will have working PTC by years end.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby YamaOfParadise » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:01 pm

I mean, they really need to push it off by a number of years, but they also need to just make a hard deadline this time so the railroads know that they actually need to get this done and not kick the football down the line indefinitely. This way it actually gets done, while giving the railroads the time they need to actually make it happen.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby mmi16 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:51 am

Backshophoss wrote:This mandate is about to make the whole rail Industry a big mess,sooner or later the STB and the congress critters
will have deal with the mess the congress critters created.
As I understand it,Amtrak,and Metrolink(SCAX) will have working PTC by years end.


For Class 1's the key to successful PTC is interoperability between all the carriers. If it became necessary to change power every time a train changed carriers the throughput of the industry would be harmed. Amtrak (only on the NEC) and other commuter carriers that own their own tracks don't have to deal with the problem of interoperability. If you only have to design PTC for a single set of circumstance, it is much easier than designing for all circumstance that exist on the all the Class 1 carriers.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby ccutler » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:52 pm

The issue is not interoperability. The issue is liability. CSX is not allowed to run freight trains without PTC on commuter lines after 1/1/2016, as I understand it. If they did, they would be in violation of the law requiring PTC implementation. So, which law should they violate? PTC rules which, if an accident occurs and PTC rules are broken, could bankrupt CSX; or common carrier rules, which require CSX to ship freight?

NYC ships about 40 carloads a day of trash. I would hate to see that traffic on the highways.
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby dowlingm » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:04 pm

Backshophoss wrote:For Class 1's the key to successful PTC is interoperability between all the carriers. If it became necessary to change power every time a train changed carriers the throughput of the industry would be harmed. Amtrak (only on the NEC) and other commuter carriers that own their own tracks don't have to deal with the problem of interoperability. If you only have to design PTC for a single set of circumstance, it is much easier than designing for all circumstance that exist on the all the Class 1 carriers.
Yeah but interoperability might lead to standards like ERTMS and that would be worse than Russia (especially if the wireless spectrum was expropriated from the wealth creators to supplant the current shambolic frequency acquisition "process")
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Re: CSX may cease operations on Metro North lines as of Jan

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:58 pm

Give mmi16 the credit for the quote in the post above,it should be noted that most of the commuter operations on
the NEC is going with ACSES for PTC.
All CSX needs to do is to rig for ACSES on the power cleared for MN's track and their Cab Signal system. :wink:
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