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 justalurker66 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:57 am

Some systems will have additional features "beyond safety". Mandated PTC does not require the add ons that some railroads will implement.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

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

Postby electricron » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:14 am

While they can use the tracks for local signals and controls, you can't use the tracks to send electric signals over long distances. It doesn't matter how large a conductor is, electricity takes around a 1,000 volts per mile to push that signal. The size of the conductor, in this case the track itself, allows more current flow. To have a train dispatcher be hi ndreds, if not up to a thousand miles away, you're going to need transformers along the way to step up the voltage of the signals. Since tracks are located at grade exposed to humans and other animal life, the voltages can't be too high on the tracks.

Shunting zones are usually isolated sections of tracks on opposite tracks, a train's wheels and axles providing the shunting path for the local signals, like a light switch at you home between two contacts. These sections of tracks for the shunts are isolated by insulators from the rest of the tracks. That's why crossing signals aren't actuated miles away from the crossing.

Additionally, mixing power and control signals on the same conductor (in this case tracks) isn't a great idea because noise and interference over long distances. There's a reason cat 5 wires for your Ethernet cables are shielded, even for distances as short as 6 feet.. Steel tracks rust away, and in different environments electrical catholic protection is needed. So there are already some low voltage, low current power electric currents in the ground near tracks anyways.

There's a reason why telephone companies are switching from microwave towers to glass fibers for communications recently. It's actually cheaper and easier to do so. In the not too distant past, railroads ran the signaling on many separated circuits and wires on telegraph (telephone) wires on poles above the ground, do you really believe they could have used the tracks themselves instead of using copper wires hung from wooden poles? They didn't, and you can't do so today. Other means of communications have replaced those wires on poles spaced 200-300 feet apart, but they haven't been using the tracks!
electricron
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Amtrak - PTC Mandate and Progress

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:49 pm

Trains Newswire

<Ominous sounding music>:

UPDATE: Amtrak CEO says passenger trains will not run over track without PTC or PTC waiver

WASHINGTON — If railroads that host Amtrak passenger trains fail to meet Congress’ statutory requirement to have positive train control installed Dec. 31, 2018, Amtrak’s president says the company will drop service on lines that don’t comply. The move would significantly disrupt passenger service on virtually every Amtrak route in the U.S.

At a House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing today, Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson testified that if any of the host railroad segments over which it operates “appear unlikely to achieve sufficient progress to apply for an alternate positive train control (implementation) schedule” by the end of 2018, “Amtrak will suspend operations until such time as the carriers become compliant with the law.”
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7761
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: Trump and PTC

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:59 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:surprised your putting out political bait ?? if "the Donald" went back on the PTC mandate, he would leave federal government open to massive lawsuits, for being negligent on Safety.


Nope. Feres Doctrine. The Imperial Federal Government must give you permission to sue it.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7761
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:12 pm

As a lawyer I hesitate to agree with either of you.

1. The government is already open to lawsuits. They may not stick and/or may be dismissed, but do not take the existence or dismissal of the PTC mandate as an indicator of the ability for us to sue the government.

2. I'm not sure if the Feres doctrine applies here, it may be analogous but might not have that much impact. I really am not expert in this situation which is why I hesitate to agree - not because I disagree.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8824
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed controls

Postby roavabees » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:34 pm

came across this today.
Amtrak is considering suspending service on tracks that don't have sophisticated speed controls by a Dec. 31 deadline, the railroad's top executive said Thursday, threatening to disrupt operations across the U.S. in a push to strengthen safety after a series of deadly wrecks.

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Amtra ... 13213.html

Will MI. and the NEC be the only place where Amtrak runs after December or we finally get the safety measures needed. More the likely congress will kick the can down the street again
Last edited by GirlOnTheTrain on Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added fair use quote per rr.net policy
roavabees
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:05 pm

The Feres Doctrine appears to only apply to active duty military personnel.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2663
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Amtrak - PTC Mandate and Progress

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:31 pm

At a House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing today, Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson testified that if any of the host railroad segments over which it operates “appear unlikely to achieve sufficient progress to apply for an alternate positive train control (implementation) schedule” by the end of 2018, “Amtrak will suspend operations until such time as the carriers become compliant with the law.”

Point of order: If the host railroad does not either meet the 2018 PTC deadline or prove significant progress to earn an extension it would be illegal for Amtrak to operate their trains on those lines. Mr Anderson's threat is pointless.

It is nice of Mr Anderson to state that Amtrak will be following the law.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:34 pm

I recall parts of the Vermonter are still "dark territory" (and possibly sections of the Cardinal). Any western LDs still operating in the dark? I guess this could mean no more "rare mileage" Autumn Express as well.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:41 pm

Going back to source as the quote from Trains is misleading.
The actual testimony can be found here: https://transportation.house.gov/upload ... timony.pdf (emphasis added)
First, there will be carriers that have made sufficient progress to apply to FRA for an alternative PTC implementation schedule under the law. In these instances, Amtrak’s equipment will be ready for PTC operation, but additional work, testing or approvals are still required by the host railroad before the system is considered functional. We believe a significant number of routes outside of the NEC will face this situation. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we continue to operate over such routes until PTC is turned on and if so, what additional safety protections are appropriate to reduce risks?

Second, there will be carriers over which we operate who appear unlikely to achieve sufficient progress to apply for an alternative PTC implementation schedule by year’s end. For any such route segments, Amtrak will suspend operations until such time as the carrier becomes compliant with the law.

Third, there are areas over which we operate for which there is an FRA “Mainline Track Exclusion” in place exempting that segment from the PTC requirements based on the low levels of freight and passenger train traffic or the presence of low-speed operations, such as in yards and terminals. We are currently reviewing our policy on operating passenger trains on Exclusions to determine whether we have adequate safety mitigation practices in place for each territory and in certain areas, where signal systems are not in place, we will reconsider whether we operate at all.

The first and third scenario pose the question of whether Amtrak will operate over tracks where they could legally operate without PTC. Mr Anderson questions whether Amtrak will operate over such trackage ... he does not (yet) state that Amtrak will not operate over such trackage.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby dumpster.penguin » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:11 pm

Could a host railroad permanently shake Amtrak loose by making its tracks flunk PTC for a while?
dumpster.penguin
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:57 pm

Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby D40LF » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:12 pm

I too was wondering about that. Some freight railroads probably want to shake Amtrak off, but whether they would use this as an opportunity to do so is uncertain. I'm not sure if Amtrak's threat is entirely wise in that respect, but I suppose they are trying to pressure Congress.
D40LF
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:50 pm

Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:50 pm

Bloody idiotic and perhaps the end of the enterprise as we know it.

Any other company would fight this tooth and nail. Suddenly Amtrak rolls over?

If this were a real safety concern, this might be worth the gamble. But it's not. We lose less people to possibly PTC-preventable accidents in a year than we do to grade crossing accidents in one month. Some years we don't lose anybody. Heck I bet we lose more people to old age on railroad property every year than in PTC-preventable accidents.

Anyway, this may kill the enterprise, because I don't see how the deadline is going to be met. My only hope is that it cripples traffic into DC via commuter train, and they finally give up.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8824
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Amtrak: We'll stop service on tracks lacking speed contr

Postby prr60 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:42 pm

What Mr. Anderson said was that they might stop service on tracks without PTC after 12/31/18, not that they will as implied by the misleading news headline and topic title. Instead of relying on someone else's interpretation of what he said, why not read his actual testimony and come to your own conclusions. It's only eight pages long, well written, and an easy read. it also provides a lot of good information about the challenges that are faced with PTC implementation and the safety culture at Amtrak.

Anderson Written Testimony
prr60
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:04 pm
Location: Southern NJ

Re: Amtrak: PTC Mandate, Progress System Wide

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:48 pm

BNSF has yet to get the entire RR under PTC,but still maintains the ATS for Amtrak,NMRX is also maintaining the ATS as the Power and cab cars are equipped.
PTC is reported to be on line on the TransConn Clovis-Belen segment,NMRX intention is to install "BNSF style" PTC when the $$$$$$ is available.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5430
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests