PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

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PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby ns3010 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:26 pm

In a press release today from Pan Am Southern and PAR:

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.



Source: http://nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/news/pan-am-southern-andpanamrailwaystakeactiontoprotectservicesovert.html

Discuss.


(Figured this was important enough to warrant its own thread, but up to moderation if they want to merge. H/T to TrainManTy)
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:30 am

If memory serves,PAR got a waver from the feds to not have any form of PTC system wide,
MBTA,has gone the ACSES route with non cab signal hybred setup out of North Station on some routes.
PAR/PAS maintains or leases a limited number of ACSES equiped engines as leaders for ops on Amtrak's
Springfield line.
Downeaster service needs some form of PTC to expand service beyond current level.
Current PAR/PAS shares trackage across the "Freight Main" in a couple of areas with MBTA and Amtrak.
NS maintains a "small" fleet of engines with ACSES equipment for NEC freight service, as
CSX does for NEC service,and for freight service on MN as ACSES goes online there.

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?
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:46 am

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?


They're unwilling to pay for it on their own. They are going to hold the MBTA responsible for costs as much as possible.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby danib62 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:21 am

Sounds like some PR maneuvering by Pan Am to me... probably hoping to use it in negotiations.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby boatsmate » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:47 am

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
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:20 pm

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


Cab signal units. ACSES isn't going to be live there for another year. Northside still has a cab signal ban, so this is just posturing about the PTC units they've known the score on for about 8 years.

Frankly, they're lucky as hell the FRA gave them that exemption on their own trackage. 50/50 PAS ownership with a real Class I carrier should've qualified them for the full mandate systemwide. They got *very* lucky the feds were feeling charitable. Enough that any "normal" carrier would think twice about picking fights over open-shut and relatively cost-benign passenger co-mingling.

Alas, "normal" is the last word to describe the Billericadome. But no matter...ultimately this is just a lot of bark with no bite 4 years out from the deadline.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:03 pm

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! :wink:


Here's the rough track miles involved:
From CPF185 to CPF "LJ" ---110 miles
Mtn Br -- 1 mile
Brunswick Br CPF 185 to MPL 16 --16 miles
Western Route ML,CPF"LJ" to CPW "WJ" -- 3 miles
16 miles shared with MBTA(Haverhill route)
MP298.5 to MP 299.5 --- 1 mile, Lowell station area
CPF "WL" to MP 334 Wachusett -- 21 miles Fitchburg route.

total miles involved-- 149 miles
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:09 am

More details of this dispute are given in today's Boston Globe:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/21/pan-railways-warns-dispute-with-mbta-could-derail-fitchburg-line-service/poq2KgRTysRNL7JEtrzi7H/story.html

Excerpt:
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.


Here are links to a Railway Age article discussing the dispute and the text of the 2014 PAS/PAR/MBTA PTC agreement that's in dispute:
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/ptc/pan-am-southern-pan-am-railways-take-mbta-to-task-over-ptc.html
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&task=download&id=95_a275db64b037415004cf5c086389eec4
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby TrainManTy » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:46 pm

Backshophoss wrote:Here's the rough track miles involved:
From CPF185 to CPF "LJ" ---110 miles


The 2014 PTC Agreement in question (available on Railway Age) does not include this segment of track. It only lists 35 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! :wink:


The shared track is receiving a dual installation of ACSES and I-ETMS.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby BandA » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:20 pm

Without reading all the stuff, I betcha the "T" is balking at the cost of equipping 92 engines. I didn't realize PAR had 92 engines in service. Betcha they end up compromising and paying for a smaller number of engines. Can this equipment be made portable so that they can easily move it from one engine to another as needed? Probably not - it would have to be "qualified" i.e. tested each time it was plugged in.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby BandA » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:30 pm

I'm assuming worst case is PAS refuses to allow PTC installation on five miles of track, and MBTA will have to suspend service in 2018 to Wachusett station, but that they can continue to use the layover facility. Or they will have to install five miles of a third track for PAR/PAS to use!
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:21 pm

Ty,that's the Downeaster Service(Amtrak),to get more than 6 roundtrips(12 trains)forces the PTC upgrade
on that section of Freight Main and Mountain/Brunswick Branches.
Part of that is shared with MBTA.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby BandA » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:52 am

I guess what is confusing is, MBTA plans to install PTC on all it's passenger track. If they refuse to pay to equip PAR/PAS locomotives, then PAR/PAS will have to pay themselves or forgo running freight inside MBTA territory except at night. It's not like the "T" is gonna shut down CR on tracks they own.

Downeaster: If nothing happens, will it remain capped at six trips per day, or will it have to shutdown?
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:24 am

The Downeaster will "stuck" at 6 roundtrips(12 trains) a day.
Believe that was discussed in the Downeaster thread in the Amtrak forum.

Believe PAR/PAS would have to go the "time seperation" route to service freight customers,
unless some form of PTC get installed.
NJT with CR shared Assets is installing a combined ACSES/I-ETMS,and Cab Signal hybred setup on part of the RVL route,
the section between the NEC Jct and the Jct where NS/CSX spin off the RVL route.
IF that was part of the MBTA,PAR/PAS agreement,not sure about that,as what ever deal was done with B&M(ST)/MBTA/MassDOT
placed that Cab Signal Ban condition out of North Station.
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Re: PAS and PAR: MBTA Service At Risk Over PTC Concerns

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:57 am

Attached are three snips from the Pan Am - MBTA PTC agreement of 2014 (signed by both David Fink and Beverly Scott) that details which north side MBTA track segments get just ACSES II v. both ACSES II and I-ETMS (only the Pan Am mainline through the territory gets both ACSES II and I-ETMS while the lines that are passenger service with only local freight service get just ACSES II). Lastly there is a snip of how the 92 Pan Am engines are to be outfitted ACSES II v. I-ETMS: 25 of the 92 engines will be outfitted with ACSES II so they can operate locals off the Pan Am main line as well as on the Pan Am main while the balance of 67 engines will be outfitted with I-ETMS limiting them to Pan Am main lines only (I'm guessing NS/CSX/UP/BNSF/CP/CN foreign power will also only have I-ETMS instrumentation).

Net: if the 2014 agreement is not honored, when PTC cutover occurs at end of 2018 I believe that only foreign power could operate freights on the Pan Am main line between Westminster and Plaistow and no local freight service could operate on the lines having only ACSES II.
Attachments
PAR MBTA PTC type by track 1.JPG
PAR MBTA PTC type by track 2.JPG
PAR MBTA PTC locomotives.JPG
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