Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:33 pm

Good to know that MBTA is installing I-ETMS in addition to ACSES II between 335 and WL. Makes sense. Thanks for that info.
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby Trinnau » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:50 pm

newpylong wrote:No, The T is going to dual equip between Westminster and Willows. The NS units wont have a problem.


Technically not correct, and the timing is (and always was) different. Pan Am Southern will do exactly what NS has done elsewhere on Amtrak and install I-ETMS and maintain the requisite hardware/software. However MBTA will have ACSES up and running long before I-ETMS, so there will be some period of time where ACSES will be the only PTC system online.
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:13 pm

PAR/PAS needs to maintain a pool of ACSES rigged loco to run to the remaining customers on MBTA trackage,on Amtrak's Springfield line
to reach Waterbury Ct,and MN's Waterbury Branch to Devon Jct(HRRC?/MN interchange points)
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby johnpbarlow » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:11 am

I'm confused by many of the documents the MBTA has filed on the FRA web-site:
First off, MBTA PTC Implementation Project Plan v8.0 of August 2016 says I-ETMS PTC will be co-located with ACSES II PTC on the Freight Mainline. There is much discussion of I-ETMS v. ACSES II back office integration and rolling stock interoperability (plus a reference to a "Springfield Terminal PTC-IP" [Implementation Plan] which can't be found on the FRA PTC docs website https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0628. Here's the URL to the downloadable 245 page MBTA PTC IP v8.0: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA-2010-0030-0031

But the next version of MBTA PTC IP (ie, v9.0) removes all references to I-ETMS implementation tasks/goals/deliverables and FRA responds with a 2 page set of comments/question including:
The list of tenant railroads includes NS. While FRA is aware of Amtrak, P&W, Pan-Am, and CSX locomotives being equipped with ACSES II, this is the first PTCIP that states that the I-ETMS system will not be utilized on MBTA territory. Please confirm that NS locomotives will be properly equipped to operate on MBTA territory.

In its v10 PTC IP, MBTA downplayed its listing of NS as a tenant RR of the MBTA but FRA disapproved v10 in March 2017 due to:
1. The RFA [Request for Amendment] does not address the removal of the Interoperable Electronic Train Management System PTC installation on MBTA North side territories, which are indicated in the PTCIP by strike out only.
2. The RFA, makes no mention of MBT A tenant operations over Pan Am Southern territory between Fitchburg and Wachusett, MA, nor does it address how MBTA trains are to traverse said territory. These tenant operations began October 2016 and increased to 13 round trips per day in December 2016.


In May 2017, MBTA submitted v11 of its PTC IP which indicates PTC on the Fitchburg from Westminster east will be implemented with ACSES II. Furthermore, in the Interoperability section lists NS as a tenant RR but then says:
MBTA is actively working with each tenant railroad to ensure that all rolling stock operated on MBTA North Side territory will be equipped with onboard ACSES II in ABS Mode with 220
MHz radio systems by the extended 2018 deadline. Once MBTA’s PTC System is fully implemented, no non-ACSES equipped locomotives will be permitted into either its ATC with ACSES II South Side territory or on ACSES II in ABS Mode North Side territory. In its effort to ensure interoperability, MBTA will “cap” any non-ACSES equipped train entering MBTA territories with a MBTA ACSES equipped locomotive. Please refer to the PTC Implementation Plans for Amtrak, CSX and NS for their rolling stock fleet PTC characteristics.


In August 2017, FRA approved MBTA PT IP v11. And last month, FRA approved MBTA's request for "substitute criteria" to permit MBTA to defer PTC revenue operation to no later than December 31, 2020 conditioned on "...MBTA shall complete formal field qualification testing2(FQT) of its Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System II (ACSES II) on its Stoughton Branch from Milepost (MP) 15.0 to MP 19.6 by December 31, 2018,..."

Lastly note that in its Q2 2018 PTC Progress Report, NS indicates that none of its locomotives will have "non I-ETMS Transponder Readers" installed.

Net: I'm very confused re: what the FRA officially believes is happening wrt to Fitchburg line PTC installation. Taking the most recent on-file FRA approved MBTA plans, it would appear that "In its effort to ensure interoperability, MBTA will “cap” any non-ACSES equipped train entering MBTA territories with a MBTA ACSES equipped locomotive"! Or alternatively, the FRA web-site filings reflecting the latest implementation plans are out-of-date.
Last edited by johnpbarlow on Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby newpylong » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:29 am

I wouldn't read into it too much. The FRA is focused that at least one form of PTC is installed, and that is ACSES first as that is what was chosen to be implemented by the MBTA.

The MBTA will be paying to have IETMS installed after ACSES 335 to WL so that PAS can operate on the track as it is not feasible to install ACSES on every NS locomotive.
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby gokeefe » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:29 am

Interesting to consider that the MBTA will be running almost daily at the head of certain freight moves for a period of time.

Curious whether or not they have enough motive power to cover this ...
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby Trinnau » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:13 pm

gokeefe wrote:Interesting to consider that the MBTA will be running almost daily at the head of certain freight moves for a period of time.

Curious whether or not they have enough motive power to cover this ...


You're mis-reading a bit. Pan Am is installing ACSES on some of their locomotives to perform this cap. And it won't be needed immediately, only upon "full implementation" sometime prior to Dec 31, 2020.
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Re: Pan Am v. PTC implementation

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:57 am

Pan Am has a fairly detailed article in the end of summer 2018 Clipper publication that describes their PTC efforts, starting on page 8:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a3d34cbf09ca44c384dd0f4/t/5beb05c9758d468e419baa2c/1542129098364/clipper118.pdf

Excerpt:
For shared commuter lines, PAR will install two types of Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) II on 45 of its locomotives. Initially, for tenant
operation on joint use MBTA lines, PAR will install ACSES II without automatic train control (ATC) in thirty-nine (39) locomotives for use in Massachusetts.
PAR will equip six (6) locomotives with ACSES II and ATC for its joint use tenant operations on Amtrak and MNR in Connecticut. PAR will perform the
installation of on-board systems at mechanical facilities located in Waterville, Me., and Deerfield, Ma. Locomotive interoperability testing with each of its
host commuter railroads is planned for the fall of 2018.

In addition to above, PAR is a tenant on Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in New York, see table 1. To continue safe and efficient freight service, PAR must
install Interoperable Train Control PTC or ITC/PTC in 13 locomotives, and implement a Crew and Initialization Back Office Server (CIBOS). The CIBOS will handle crew Iauthentication and convey train consist data to the on-board system and is required on ITC/PTC equipped host railroads. Interoperability testing with CPR is planned for the second half of 2019.

Subsequent to fulfilling its tenant obligations, PAR will implement an ITC/PTC system as a host on the Fitchburg line between Westminster and Willows.
PAR will install the necessary wayside and back office systems, as well as implement a new computer aided dispatching (CAD) system. The voluntary
deployment of ITC/PTC will ensure that PAR delivers the safest and most efficient service possible.
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