ATO coming back to some red line trains

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ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby YOLO » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:24 pm

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local ... 89271.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tra ... story.html

Carolyn's statement in this article is idiotic, as if humans never make mistakes?!?!
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Just to add a quote from the WaPo piece: "Starting early next month [i.e. October 2014], in a process known as automatic train operation, computers will take over driving a half-dozen Red Line trains daily during non-peak hours, Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said. By March [2015], all Red Line trains will be driven by computers, a move Sarles called “a milestone accomplishment.”

Other key information:
    To get the Red Line ready for ATO cost $18 million; to get all of the other lines ready will cost another $33 million
    All GRS Generation II modules have been replaced on the Red Line - there were 810 of them (out of 902)
    There are 1,611 Gen 2 modules on the Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow lines; so far, 900 have been replaced with the rest being removed by 2017
    170 Red Line operators will be trained to operate trains in ATO
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby Sand Box John » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:55 am

This is good news.

This is one of the best articles the Washington Post has written that explains how the enter workings of Metrorail's automatic train control system functions. It explains the one thing that most don't get. The computer hardware and software that does the automatic control of trains is aboard the train not at wayside or in central control.

The train board automatic train control system can only function based on data inputs from the wayside.

All that being said, I still think they should have placed greater emphasis on that one small fact.
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby jkovach » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:53 pm

There's another thing that tends to get missed in the coverage - the failure that led to this crash was in the signal system, not the ATO system. The signals provide input to the ATO system, but they also provide input to the train operator. The operator must rely on the cab signal display to know whether the track ahead is clear on curves or anywhere else where you can't see what's ahead of you. Proper operation of the signal system is essential to safety regardless of whether the train is automatically or manually operated.

Ignoring this tends to turn the debate into an argument as to whether computers can safely run trains, which is not really at issue here. Computers have been running trains quite successfully since the 1960s if not before - as long as the signals work!
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:48 am

An interesting article on this point: Hawaii is building a purely driver-less system. http://www.citylab.com/tech/2014/09/honolulu-is-building-americas-first-fully-driverless-transit-system/380292/.
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby DiscoveryAnalysis » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:28 am

What has always been a pet peeve of mine since the Ft. Totten collision is the blame toward ATO and the knee jerk reaction to operate manually.

The accident was due to a failed track circuit and would have occurred with trains operating manually or in ATO. Remember train 214 was in manual while 112 was in ATO. Based on my analysis of the accident had 214 been in ATO the accident wouldn't have been as severe as ATO would've rolled 214 into the next block triggering 112 to recieve reduced speed commands.

ATO is the safest and most efficient operation as long as all the sub components are correctly functioning. The train operator is the final safety catch to override ATO if something isn't operating correctly.
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:09 am

Interestingly, Metro's weekend track work involves replacing track circuits between Southern Ave and Branch Ave stations per the NTSB recommendation. http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/metro_service_status/advisories.cfm?AID=4051. I had the impression that the track circuits on the Green line were 'new' and did not need to be replaced....
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:14 pm

For posterity's' sake, I'll also flag a GGW post on this topic, which included a very interesting discussion in the comments. http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24283/computers-will-start-driving-red-line-trains-again/
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby tommyboy6181 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:03 pm

JDC wrote:Interestingly, Metro's weekend track work involves replacing track circuits between Southern Ave and Branch Ave stations per the NTSB recommendation. http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/metro_service_status/advisories.cfm?AID=4051. I had the impression that the track circuits on the Green line were 'new' and did not need to be replaced....


That's interesting as that section only opened in January 2001 whereas the other sections having circuits replaced so far are much older.

One thing I was wondering is if they decided to replace the GRS circuits with the current Alstom systems installed on the new Silver Line or if they decided to go with AnsaldoSTS? I know both companies have been doing work in the system.
Gotta love Alstom. Every year on opening day of hunting season, it is a paid holiday! :wink:
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby Sand Box John » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:47 am

"tommyboy6181"

That's interesting as that section only opened in January 2001 whereas the other sections having circuits replaced so far are much older.

One thing I was wondering is if they decided to replace the GRS circuits with the current Alstom systems installed on the new Silver Line or if they decided to go with AnsaldoSTS? I know both companies have been doing work in the system.


Shouldn't be to hard to determine. Look for the AnsaldoSTS or Alstom label on the WEE-Z bond at the ends of the platform track circuit. You can clearly see the Alstom label on this one in the Greensboro station.

Image

Here is what a AnsaldoSTS WEE-Z bond looks like. This picture was taken before AnsaldoSTS acquired Union Switch and Signal.

Image
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:52 pm

Matt Johnson at GGW did a nice post about the imminent return to ATO on the Red line, and in general, and spoke with Metro's spokesman Dan Stessel to write the piece. http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24342/when-wmata-restores-automatic-train-operation-heres-what-it-will-mean-for-riders/
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby YOLO » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:25 pm

Nice to know WMATA hires idiots that don't even know how long their train is.
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby Sand Box John » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:20 pm

"YOLO"
Nice to know WMATA hires idiots that don't even know how long their train is.


What's really amusing is there is a display on the operator console that shows how many cars are in the train. The only problem is the display uses a single digit so if an operator leaves the yard with train greater then 8 cars long it will not indicate that on the train length display.
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby JDC » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:28 pm

The return to ATO was discussed at Metro's Board meeting on September 24, 2014. Troup gave a presentation on the issue, and the pdf is available: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/board_of_directors/board_docs/092414_3BATOUpdate20140924.pdf
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Re: ATO coming back to some red line trains

Postby YOLO » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:30 pm

If an operator runs a 10 car train would it show as 0 on the display?
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