Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, gprimr1, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:35 pm

george matthews wrote:Why is this in the Worldwide forum? European railways are rather more organised.

It's a global sticky topic for now. Up to Jeff or John where it goes after that.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4698
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby John_Perkowski » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:28 pm

Eventually it'll go back to Amtrak. But yes, it's global right now.
~John Perkowski: Moderator: General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment
Assistant Administrator: Railroad.net/forums
Please don't feed the spammers! If you see spam, please notify a Moderator
User avatar
John_Perkowski
 
Posts: 4620
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Off the Q main near Parkville MO

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:37 pm

With ATS and ATC(with Cab signals) the "Fail Safe" is STOP,then the engineer asks for instructions on how to proceed.
In most cases,the train can move onward at a slower speed per the RR's Book of Rules/dispatcher's instructions.
IF a signal maintainer's bypass created a unsafe "condition" in the ITCS setup,there should have been a signal blocked at stop,
while the maintainer was doing the required testing with the "bypass" jumpers were in use.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5249
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby east point » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:22 pm

Putting PTC tied in to GPS is a receipt for disaster. When not If GPS goes down there will not be enough dispatchers with experience to run any RR. PTC has been cited as being able to prevented the Frankford over speed accident. Actually had the lead signal to the curve had been properly signaled approach 60 there would not have been an over speed as ATC would have slowed the train. PTC ( ACSES ) would not have prevented that if tied to signal system.

From what has been posted at several sites ATC installed with proper leads to conflict areas would prevent everything that PTC claims to do. It has worked where installed. ATC could have been installed every where at much less cost than this bug prone PTC systems. The mess at Denver with PTC trying to control crossing gates so far has been a failure and already prime contractor has pulled out. What happens in 10 or so years when the computer tech has gone thru 3 or 4 iterations and there is not enough persons able to trouble shoot problems of outdated systems. Worse still no one to add the new restrictions or add new track ?
east point
 
Posts: 897
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:50 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby John_Perkowski » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:09 am

Admin Note:

This has been quiet for five days. I'm unpinning it as a global, and will place it in Amtrak.
~John Perkowski: Moderator: General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment
Assistant Administrator: Railroad.net/forums
Please don't feed the spammers! If you see spam, please notify a Moderator
User avatar
John_Perkowski
 
Posts: 4620
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Off the Q main near Parkville MO

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby Alcochaser » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:35 pm

Lets set some things straight.

ITCS is the oddball in the PTC world. It's had a long troublesome history.
The effort started in 1996. Initially it was just seen at a lower cost way to allow 110mph without Cab Signals.
Making it work right has been a long an troublesome process. But by no means should you allow the constant ITCS issues to taint the ACSES installs on the NEC.
The issue with ITCS has been the wireless radio coverage. They tried 900mhz first, and that was a disaster. 220mhz has been better, but only just.

ACSES is MUCH less based on Wireless, put simply it is a much more robust technology. It uses fixed transponders perform at lot of the functions. It also fully integrates with the well proven PRR style cab signals. I don't know of any issues with ACSES failures. This is because only non vital functions are wireless. All the vital operations are done via the transponders. Amtrak has been running it flawlessly since 2002.

I-ETMS the freight system is much like ITCS but its much newer. The freight railroads have been fighting coverage issues.

The big problem has been spectrum. The FCC controls all the radio spectrum. They have no mandate from anyone to do what it takes to help alleviate some of theses issues. The FCC is currently limiting everyone to 5 watts output power on the 220mhz band used for PTC. That doesn't get you a lot.

The PTC issues are pretty much endemic of our government's issues. You have Congress and FRA ramming this down everyone's throats, but you have the FCC making it hard.
User avatar
Alcochaser
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:20 am

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby twropr » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:56 pm

The ITCS suspension began on the Michigan Line July 24. Limiting trains to 79 MPH is adding about 15 min to the Kalamazoo-Porter running times; however the full impact of the slowdown is not being felt due to padding in the schedules.
I wonder if the ITCS segment over UP's former GM&O between Dwight and Pontiac, IL is still operational?
I wonder what it would cost to replace the 97-mi K'zoo-Porter section of ITCS with ACSES?
Andy
twropr
 
Posts: 621
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:26 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:10 pm

This Amtrak blog post gives $110m for 206 miles of ACSES on the NEC, which seems to indicate around $500k/mile for the NEC. Accounting for single track on the Michigan Line that's closer to $150-300k/mile, so call it between $15m and $30m for the full 97 miles. In contrast, as of 2012 (Page 13) I-ETMS was estimated to cost $50,000/mile or $5-10m total.

ACSES is much more reliable, but it's a bad idea to install it in Michigan & Indiana unless Amtrak is willing to install receiver equipment on all of its Chicago-based P40/42s and the states do the same on the Chargers. It also leaves the problem of Kzoo-Detroit and Porter-Chicago, since NS will have to install PTC if the mandate stays in place - and they aren't interested in the high fixed cost of ACSES.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4698
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:23 pm

NS has a PTC plan for their tracks and the installation of the equipment is underway. All of the interlockings between CUS and Porter have been upgraded with new control systems and PTC. ALL tenant railroads (including Amtrak) will need to install equipment compatible with NS' PTC in order to have their engines lead trains on NS lines. (The same goes for trains running on CSX tracks ... install equipment compatible with CSX's PTC.

NS will not need to install ACSES or ITCS on their line. Amtrak is the tenant and they will need to install NS' system.

The FRA has a website full of long and booring (or perhaps interesting) documents where one can see what each railroad's plans are, including how tenant railroads are affected. One can also read progress reports (or lack of progress reports) to see what has been done by each railroad ... including how many track miles have been upgraded, how many engines have been upgraded and how much more needs to be done to meet the mandate.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2201
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby Railjunkie » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:19 am

A few things to add. I havent any clue about ITCS or I-ETMS, Im sure Ill get a class on one or the other once CSX gets it up and running in NYS. ACESS is what Im most familiar with and it works just fine I think only once have I had a problem with it and I think it was more the engine its self than the system. Which brings me to a couple of important points. One, it dosent relieve me of knowing my PCs. I still have to be able to run the train. The system will do it for you but its frowned upon aka FIRED. Two, if there is a problem we just cut it out and go. Again I still have to be able to run the train. Third and most importantly, WE CAN NOT TAMPER WITH ANY PART OF THE SYSTEM. IF ITS WORKING YOU WILL USE IT. YOU TAMPER YOU LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB.
Railjunkie
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby byte » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:54 am

twropr wrote:I wonder if the ITCS segment over UP's former GM&O between Dwight and Pontiac, IL is still operational?


I suspect it isn't. A buddy of mine rode the Lincoln Service last weekend and kept an eye on his phone's GPS during that segment. Said the speed never rose above ~79 mph.
That old car might be worth money!
byte
 
Posts: 1217
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: IL

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby 8th Notch » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:44 pm

Railjunkie wrote: I still have to be able to run the train. The system will do it for you but its frowned upon aka FIRED. Two, if there is a problem we just cut it out and go.


You will have a lot of unhappy passengers and penalty brakes if you let ACSES do the work, not to mention that it does not account for Dead Sections, Phase breaks, etc.
8th Notch
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:23 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby JimBoylan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:06 pm

8th, can ACSES be improved to do all those things?
JimBoylan
 
Posts: 3220
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:33 pm

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby Railjunkie » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:45 am

8th Notch wrote:
Railjunkie wrote: I still have to be able to run the train. The system will do it for you but its frowned upon aka FIRED. Two, if there is a problem we just cut it out and go.


You will have a lot of unhappy passengers and penalty brakes if you let ACSES do the work, not to mention that it does not account for Dead Sections, Phase breaks, etc.



If you work zones one or two you already know this but... Its been tried and the engineer in question is out a job see my posts above. I have had penalty brake application,it wasnt what I would call good train handleing I was above the brake curve coming into Inwood. The only wire I deal with is in the Empire tunnel and Michigan dosent have wire. .
Railjunkie
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am

Re: The inevitable impossible - PTC is down!!!

Postby electricron » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:09 am

PTC is not ATC, where the engineer/driver sits back and watches the automation equipment do its thing. Engineers/drivers are suppose to be driving the train over tracks they know by heart, slowing down before the known speed reductions and signal changes...

There are automated rail systems without engineers/drivers, but these systems' operations are set in stone and vary very little. They have little flexibility - unlike the needs of most of America's freight rail network. To have flexibility with operations, human engineers/drivers running trains following a set of rules and signals are needed.
electricron
 
Posts: 4192
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: daybeers, F40CFan, Matt Johnson, mtuandrew and 18 guests