Gilbert B Norman wrote: ↑Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:43 pm
Any updates on "what's the holdup". The track is there; NE Quadrant SAL-FEC (Iris) has been done for some time. SW FEC Quadrant has "always been there". Miami Central signage "Tri Rail coming soon" remains in abundance.
So "enquiring mind wants to know" asks; what's the holdup?
My apologies if you've seen this already; the latest piece of news looks to be from this Miami Today News article
from last December.
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Tri-Rail’s parent, must wait for Florida East Coat Railway, which owns the Brightline commuter service, to have its Positive Train Control (PTC) system certified by the federal government before it can move forward.
PTC is a federally mandated safety system that must be installed and running in all US trains and along tracks by December 2020. The system Tri-Rail uses isn’t consistent with the one Florida East Coast Railway uses, but there are ways to make them interoperable.
Brightline hasn’t given Tri-Rail officials any indication of how the process is going, Mr. Abrams said this week.
Looks like PTC is the culprit? According to this Progressive Railroading article
from late February, the FRA has stated FECR/Brightline/Virgin at risk of not completing PTC installation by the end of 2020.
According to the FRA, the following eight host railroads are at risk of not fully implementing a PTC system on all federally mandated mainlines by the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline: Alaska Railroad Corp., the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, Florida East Coast Railway (including its tenant railroad, Brightline/Virgin Trains USA), Kansas City Terminal Railway, New Jersey Transit, New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Metra and TEXRail.
To evaluate the risk of noncompliance, the FRA considers the following factors in addition to the railroads' own status reports: the percentage of mandated route miles currently governed by a PTC system, including revenue service demonstration (RSD); any unresolved technical issue in implementing a compliant PTC system; the percentage of a host railroad’s tenant railroads that have achieved interoperability, as required; and a host railroad’s expected date to submit its PTC Safety Plan to FRA, as required to obtain PTC system certification.
The FRA's PTC status report also found that of the 42 railroads required to implement the technology, most are operating their systems in revenue service or in advanced field-testing or RSD, FRA officials said in a press release.
Here are the links to the actual FECR PTC progress reports for Q4 2019
and all of 2019
from the FRA's website. I screenshotted page 2 of the Q4 2019 report.
According to page 13 of the 2019 annual report, FECR is/was planning to submit a PTC Safety Plan in June 2020. Going off of the two articles, it sounds like once FECR's safety plan is submitted (Does anybody know if FECR is still working on PTC right now? Wouldn't be surprised if it was delayed with Covid-19 and all), the FRA will certify FECR's PTC, then Tri-Rail/SFRV can apply to use FECR/Brightline/Virgin trackage in Downtown Miami. It also sounds like FECRs testing for PTC is behind where the FRA would like it to be, since up to the end of 2019, field testing had only occurred on a portion of the route, and using PTC in revenue service had yet to begin.