Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:15 am

Their revised schedules say southside complete by December 2018, northside except for the Pan Am main (i.e. outer Fitchburg, outer Haverhill) complete by March 2020, and Pan Am main co-mingling by August 2020. And then asterisked the northside projections up saying that the cab signal-less version of ACSES used northside needs additional testing, and the cab signal-less ACSES + freight I-ETMS used for Pan Am needs additional testing and integration.

Southside alone is going to need the full extension and probably the +2 years to 2020 because of the cab signal installations required on Needham, Franklin, and the inner Worcester as prerequisites for installing ACSES with the southside's back-office. If you use Metro North's Port Jervis Line re-signaling as a measuring stick, they might be lucky to get the first shovel in the ground on one of those lines by 2018.
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby NH2060 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:37 am

By gosh they've done it! They've actually awarded a contract.. *Unveils "Mission Accomplished" Banner*

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/p ... ldo--46816
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:57 am

talk about playing the government, finally awarding contract a week before original dead line ????
MBTA really sits with their thumb up their A... on this one.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby BandA » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:00 pm

Are they the folks who built the type 8's that derailed & they had to sue them?
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby FCM2829 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:59 pm

So what lines get which system?

ACSES-II for Providence/stoughton, Needham, & Franklin lines, I-ETMS for the rest? Will all their engines need fail-safe interoperability?

Since Amtrak holds the Downeaster contract for the foreseeable future, will it be ACSES-II BON-Haverhill via the wildcat? Or will Amtrak be the odd man out and be forced to have I-ETMS andACSES-II equipped engines and F40bags?

Does anybody know how interoperable I-ETMS really is? How well does it work within the ACSES framework other than sharing the same radio band?

Where does Pan Am fit in this whole DE/ACSES/I-ETMS trifecta?

finally, Am I right in thinking it's a little complicated to have a semi-green company (Ansaldo STS) install a Wabtec system (I-ETMS) which must integrate & overlay existing ACSES-II network (from yet another manufacturer-Alstom?) with wildcards such as the unknown DE compatibility, CSX's compliance, and the Pam Am deathstar?
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:04 am

If anything,it would be ACSES II on the DE route,PAR with the exception of the power needed for Waterbury/Conn River/
NEC to Hartford,will not install any form of PTC on their trackage.
MBTA is going the ACSES II route as it is,if the amount of RT's rises to above the "exemption" level,
ACSES would get installed on PAR's part of the route,along with some form of freight speed restriction.
PAR seems to like running at 25 mph..... :wink:
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby orange1234 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:28 am

BandA wrote:Are they the folks who built the type 8's that derailed & they had to sue them?


No. Breda Costruzioni Ferroviarie, the Type 8 manufacturer, merged with Ansaldo Transporti in 2001, after the Type 8 order was placed. Ansaldo STS was always a different entity. Today, both companies are owned by Hitachi.
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:34 pm

FCM2829 wrote:So what lines get which system?

ACSES-II for Providence/stoughton, Needham, & Franklin lines, I-ETMS for the rest? Will all their engines need fail-safe interoperability?

Since Amtrak holds the Downeaster contract for the foreseeable future, will it be ACSES-II BON-Haverhill via the wildcat? Or will Amtrak be the odd man out and be forced to have I-ETMS andACSES-II equipped engines and F40bags?

Does anybody know how interoperable I-ETMS really is? How well does it work within the ACSES framework other than sharing the same radio band?

Where does Pan Am fit in this whole DE/ACSES/I-ETMS trifecta?

finally, Am I right in thinking it's a little complicated to have a semi-green company (Ansaldo STS) install a Wabtec system (I-ETMS) which must integrate & overlay existing ACSES-II network (from yet another manufacturer-Alstom?) with wildcards such as the unknown DE compatibility, CSX's compliance, and the Pam Am deathstar?


No. It's ACSES II everywhere for every passenger train. Southside will be the regular old battle-tested cab signals + ACSES, which means Franklin + Needham + the Worcester Line out to Framingham Jct. will have to get cab signals installed (and, no, that $338M sum doesn't even come close to funding it all). The northside version is the untested variant of ACSES II that operates without cab signals. And then the PAR freight main gets I-ETMS in addition to ACSES with an interoperability layer shivved on top, because ACSES alone is not designed to easily accommodate freight train braking distances. While the two systems are capable of meshing, that's going to be one craptacular northside debugging job to get it all to work right. Places other than the freight main (like the Lowell Line and Eastern Route) PAR simply doesn't run long/heavy/frequent enough freight trains and can get by just fine with ACSES solo, so the messy integration job is a Fitchburg + Haverhill thing points outside of 495.


For deadline purposes, it's northside that is far and away in most perilous shape for missing the new deadline + the 2-year extension. With the ACSES + I-ETMS mash-up on the freight main being the last-last and highest threat level for missing 2020 deadline extensions altogether. Southside is in much better shape, although that funding gap for the inner Worcester Line physical plant is a doozy if they don't come up with more $$$ for the cab signaling job.

They are still the very last passenger railroad in the country projected to finish, and at serious risk for not finishing for 2020. So all that time since '08 spent doing nothing and hoping for a Congressional bailout is still a mortal risk to cost them dearly if this implementation doesn't go 100% perfectly on-schedule.
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby dbperry » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:41 am

http://www.lincolnsquirrel.com/three-co ... n-lincoln/

The MBTA plans to install three monopole towers along the commuter rail tracks in Lincoln to comply with a federal mandate for emergency train stop controls. The concrete towers will range in height from about 65 to 75 feet.


The MBTA plans to install a total of 330 poles along the commuter rail system starting in April with the Fitchburg and Rockport lines, said Jason Johnson, deputy press secretary for the MBTA.


Anyone have any more details? I couldn't find anything.

Odd that they're starting on North Side. FMCB presentation indicated South Side had earlier implementation schedule.
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 110215.pdf

and an earlier presentation:
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 102115.pdf
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby octr202 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:26 pm

Well, that article just says they're moving forward with installing the towers. Doesn't give any indication of when PTC will actually be up and running.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby dbperry » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:58 pm

Further research reveals that the MBTA posted legal notices in February or March about the pole construction. That's what may have prompted the articles & commotion. There was a legal notice about similar poles in Natick, but legal notices don't seem to stick around too long (at least I can't find any). The legal notice in Natick prompted this article, even though the reporter took the article in a different direction and didn't refer back to the notice or the poles.

http://natick.wickedlocal.com/article/2 ... /160227287
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby octr202 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:00 pm

No doubt a product of a couple radio towers causing a lot bigger stir in Lincoln than a lot of other communities! ;-)
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:20 pm

Would not be surprised if the MBTA notices got buried between the various cell carriers notices for new towers/tower upgrades.
Figure on 1 "crackpot" neighbor to start a legal challange on a MBTA tower due to "radio emissions" affecting his/her brain. :wink:
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby BandA » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:29 pm

Hmm.. everything I read around here says they need to rip out and replace the Boston-Framingham signal system anyway. Should start with that, lol
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Re: Post-PTC Deadline: What Happens Next?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:02 am

BandA wrote:Hmm.. everything I read around here says they need to rip out and replace the Boston-Framingham signal system anyway. Should start with that, lol


They do, because it would be a debugging crapshow to have to transition on-the-fly on the same train schedule from the cab signal-less ACSES variant overlaid on brittle old ABS over to regular old ACSES + cabs at Framingham. You can start stacking delayed trains like cordwood at the Framingham platforms when they bork themselves trying to make the changeover cleanly. So far there's been no officially-filed change in plans for the southside: all non-cabbed lines shall be cabbed before they get their PTC installations. And that's why Worcester lags the other southside lines on the schedule scraping up against the 2020 deadline extension: it has that section of dead-end ABS signaling unlike cabless Needham and Franklin whose CTC signaling should be much more easily modifiable for cabs without starting completely over.


The big wireless towers aren't related to cabs vs. non-cabs. PTC is bandwidth-hungry technology in general, so on lines that don't have continuous fiber optic cable plant stretching end-to-end they need to get some big data pipe out into the suburbs without spending a kajillion dollars and another 10 years trenching fiber all throughout Eastern MA. A high-powered radio tower accomplishes that, and the tower site they're looking at in Natick probably has a pre-existing fiber hookup from a telecom provider. It's unlikely there'll be a need to erect one of these towers at the midpoints of every line, because some have way more miles of fiber optic than others. For example, Fitchburg got all-new fiber signal cable during the big improvements project so they don't have a need for a high-bandwidth radio tower; the trackside PTC signal repeaters can just plug in to the same hard wiring that carries all other signals and communications. If, in the future, all the fiber gaps get filled in so the towers aren't needed...they can just cash out by selling or renting the towers to cell phone providers. Actually, the towers can probably be shared from Day 1 with a heterogeneous mix of cell phone repeaters; a lot of cell and radio towers cram a bunch of different things on their vertical real estate.
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