Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by eolesen
Rumor floating about is that as of today, ATS is no longer in service on the UP-N and UP-NW lines.
  by qboy
It's not a rumor it is true ATS will be removed from service 1100 central time for both Harvard and Kenosha Subs per Sub Division General Order.
  by Anthony
Is PTC replacing it?
  by qboy
Yep it already had replaced it. It's just now when PTC goes down you will get block in advance of movement. Just like under the rules for ATC and ATS.
  by eolesen
  by Engineer Spike
To answer a question, the F40 fleet of Metra have a complicated cab signal system. There is a key switch to change them from Northwestern, Burlington, Rock, and I’m not sure if Milwaukee had cab signals. That key also is used to set up ATS.
  by ExCon90
I never realized there were that many different cab-signal systems in the Chicago area. Were the differences in track coding, or number of indications, or something else?
  by RRspatch
And it's gone. Effective 02/15/21 Automatic Train Stop on BNSF is removed from service at locations where PTC is in effect.

Effective February 15, 2021, BNSF will retire Automatic Train Stop (ATS) on all PTC subdivisions equipped with IETMS, except for the BNSF La Junta Subdivision. BNSF Engineering field teams will proceed with disablement and
ultimate removal of all assets. This is currently estimated to take place over the next 90 to 180 days.
The following is BNSF’s multi-step ATS retirement plan:
1. Effective February 15, 2021, BNSF subdivision General Orders remove ATS references from the
timetables and increase maximum speeds on tracks running against the current of traffic where ATS was
in service.
2. Effective February 15, 2021, BNSF Multi-Sub Track Bulletin Form C will be issued outlining the
requirements during the removal period.

3. A new BNSF GCOR Rule 18.12, (Movements with Inoperative PTC System) will be adopted to ensure an
equivalent level of operational safety remains in place for trains operating without PTC protection. This
rule will require Passenger Trains operating with PTC in a non-ACTIVE state reduce to 79 MPH during
a. NOTE: The following I-ETMS system states will require the train to reduce speed to 79 MPH:
4. As removals are completed, the BNSF Form C will be updated to reflect the completed subdivision.
The disablement timeline will result in a temporary condition where ATS inductors may or may not alert,
depending on the progress of removal. A BNSF multi-sub Track Bulletin Form C will govern train movements
experiencing this condition until assets are removed entirely from a subdivision. As a result, the engineer must
continue to acknowledge the ATS alerts during the disablement/removal period.
The BNSF La Junta Subdivision is not included in ATS retirement at this time. BNSF Glorietta and Raton
Subdivisions are non-PTC equipped subdivisions, therefore ATS operating rules will remain in effect. ATS
Departure Test and associated MAP 100 documentation requirements for Amtrak train(s) 3 and 4 will be
unchanged at this time.

Subdivisions effected -

Cajon, Needles, Seligman, Gallup, Boise City, Topeka, Emporia, Marceline.

Effective 02/15/21 at 0001 CT, ATS is retired on subdivisions listed. Passenger trains operating without the PTC system in an "active" state are restricted to 79 MPH. During the removal period, engineers of ATS-equipped trains may be required to acknowledge ATS alerts as if the system was in service. Train dispatcher notification of conditions related to ATS is not required.

The above information was posted to the Facebook "Rules Department" group.
  by Backshophoss
That will leave ATS in service on NMRX and Metrolink (SCAX) as the last active ATS along with the Raton and Gloreta Subs.
  by RRspatch
Backshophoss wrote: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:35 pm That will leave ATS in service on NMRX and Metrolink (SCAX) as the last active ATS along with the Raton and Gloreta Subs.
Since both Metrolink and Rail Runner have to install PTC due to the number of trains they run it's safe to assume that ATS will be removed on both railroads in the near future. In the case of the Gloreta sub ATS would remain in effect east of CP Madrid only. Since NMRX owns the line all the way to East Lamy I would guess they'll probably leave the ATS in service on that section. West of Isleta BNSF retained ownership all the way to Dalies so look for ATS to be removed on that section.