Pan Am Southern and Pan Am Railways take action to protect services over tracks used with Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority
North Billerica, Ma. - Dec 20, 2016
Seek to work constructively with MBTA to reach resolution and promote safe freight and commuter services
Pan Am Southern LLC (PAS) and Pan Am Railways (PAR) today served default and dispute notices concerning important operational safety agreements with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).
A 2014 agreement between the two railroads and MBTA (copy available upon request) was intended to enable a Positive Train Control (PTC) system to be in place by the federal deadline of Dec. 31, 2018. This safety system would be compliant with federal law and appropriate to the joint passenger and freight rail services conducted over the eastern Massachusetts area. In today’s notices, PAS and PAR report that MBTA has disavowed the 2014 agreement, raising questions about the three railroads’ ability to implement PTC on Boston-area rail lines by the federal deadline. This throws into doubt the continuation of commuter service on those lines beyond that date.
In 2008, Congress passed a law requiring freight and passenger railroads that meet certain criteria to finance, develop, install, test, and implement PTC systems across 60,000 miles of the nation's rail network by Dec. 31, 2015, which later was extended to Dec. 31, 2018. PTC uses communication-based/processor-based train control technology to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and train movement through a main line switch in the improper position.
In addition to providing service across its own lines, MBTA performs commuter service over properties owned by PAS. The 2014 PTC agreement governs the installation of PTC over all of the jointly-operated MBTA, PAS, and PAR lines. The agreement was the result of several years of cooperative discussions, plans, and submissions by MBTA to federal agencies (both for regulatory compliance and financial support purposes). The 2014 agreement also covers installation of locomotive equipment that would be necessary for operations for PAS and PAR freight rail service in the Commonwealth.
Since execution of the 2014 agreement, PAS and PAR have acted in reliance on the agreement to ensure safe and compliant passenger services. MBTA repeatedly has progressed and affirmed plans for PTC installation in accordance with the agreement, including in its 2016 Annual PTC Implementation Progress Report submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration. PAS and PAR are concerned that MBTA’s recent disavowal could set back design and implementation of an integrated PTC system by several years, creating uncertainty about compliance with the federal mandate and the continuation of passenger services.
PAS and PAR strongly believe the best path forward lies in reaffirmation of the 2014 PTC agreement and building on the efforts PAS, PAR, and MBTA have taken since PTC was mandated. PAS and PAR pledge to work cooperatively with MBTA to implement a joint freight/passenger PTC system as soon as possible.
Backshophoss wrote:IS PAR/PAS unwilling to expand or lease ACSES equiped power to cover these short sections.
Or unwilling to work under "time seperation" requirements as an unequiped freight carrier?
boatsmate wrote:if memory serves correct, PAR only has 2 or 3 engines that can operate over the Springfield line. that is why they leased 2 P&W engines because there's where not available
In a Dec. 20 letter to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, David Fink, president of Pan Am Railways, accused it of attempting to violate a 2014 agreement that says the MBTA would extend service on the Fitchburg Line to Wachusett andinstall anti-collision technology, called “positive train control,” on 92 Pan Am locomotives, along with other conditions.
Rudy Husband, a Pan Am spokesman, said the company learned a few months ago that the MBTA might not honor the deal, even though it had already begun running additional trains to Wachusett, the last stop in Fitchburg.
“Earlier this year, they extended the service to Wachusett, and that was allowed to happen based on the assumption that the 2014 agreement was going to be honored,” he said.
Backshophoss wrote:Here's the rough track miles involved:
From CPF185 to CPF "LJ" ---110 miles
Backshophoss wrote:Maybe NS would be willing to "Loan/Lease" some ACSES rigged units to PAS and offer to install ACSES on some of
GE power PAR is leasing from GE financing!
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