DutchRailnut wrote:Again why would Any railroad go digital, and maintain a standard network to ensure interchange ????
There is no Digital mandate for railroads , just a mandate to go narrow band 12.5 per channel.
Here's a technical reason that translates into a financial reason. Also, essentially every digital radio I have seen has the capability of operating in conventional analog mode so interchange capability is built in. The link to the complete article is below. Lots of interesting info.
"The new railroad band plan with the first 12.5 kHz mandate by 2013 does not require radios to be digital. However, due to technical limitations for the much tighter 6.25 kHz channel spacing that will eventually happen, the 6.25 kHz plan will require radios to be digital. It's this second new plan due around 2018 that has railroads experimenting with digital and trying to decide how exactly they will go about the change. Most new radios being purchased now are capable of both analog and digital, or they're at least capable of being modified to digital. Recently the FCC has recommended that the rail industry skip over the 2013 mandate altogether and just start shooting for the 6.25 kHz standard. Some of the larger railroads have decided to start working on this by replacing radios with new models capable of doing both analog and 6.25 kHz digital."